FINDING THE STORY
Children’s Home Society of Virginia
Client Children’s Home Society of Virginia
Date November 2017
Skills Branding, Community Building, Developed Web and Social Content
Each year in America, about 23,000 youth who’ve been in foster care age into adulthood without a family. Within two years, 25% of these young people are incarcerated, 20% are homeless, 42% drop out of high school, and 71% are pregnant or parents. To change outcomes for these young people, especially in Virginia, two Richmond-based nonprofits, Better Housing Coalition and Children’s Home Society of Virginia, launched The Possibilities Project and commissioned a national survey to learn what other states are doing to support foster youth as they transition to adulthood.
While the report The Possibilities Project commissioned was useful to the field, and was produced by a respected research organization, its news value was hard to discern. It didn’t evaluate states or their programs, and it stopped short of making policy recommendations. Our clients were eager to get the report out but didn’t know what to do with it.
Applying our expertise in communicating policy and research, 5e made several recommendations, including that our clients form a task force of experts and legislators to develop policy recommendations informed by the report. We wrote, designed and produced a highly visual distillation of the report, along with shareable graphics for social media, and we worked with a Virginia-based communications firm to arrive at the messaging for the news release and pitch it. Print and broadcast coverage was strong in Virginia, including an op-ed by the two nonprofits’ executive directors, in Richmond’s newspaper, and Politico and national outlets devoted to child welfare took note of the report. We enlisted partner organizations to help spread the word on social. 5e also engaged a government affairs consultant in our network to share the report the materials we produced with Congress’s foster care caucus and Virginia’s congressional delegation.
VISUALIZING THE STORY: TITLE OF GRAPHIC GOES HERE