Government and philanthropy often share common goals and a capacity to enable wide-scale systems change. When they work together, they make ideal partners—philanthropy contributing nimbleness and a spirit of experimentation, while government commands the resources to sustain what works. In Los Angeles County, such collaboration was catalyzed by the murder of an 8-year-old boy in 2013. This tragic death prompted the Board of Supervisors to empanel a commission of notable child welfare experts to examine systemic failures.
Since then, an increasingly durable and agile spirit of collaboration in L.A. has fueled an ability to test new ideas, assess their effectiveness, and bring them to scale in ways that significantly impact child welfare reform. As a result of these efforts, the previously siloed and reactive child protection system is moving toward becoming a more integrated countywide child well-being system. Cultivating Hope Through Action: How Public-Private Partnerships Are Strengthening Child and Family Well-Being in L.A. County, is a report chronicling the work that drove increased collaboration and funding in L.A. County. It also addresses ways to grow similar collaborative ecosystems for child and family well-being in the future. Read the executive summary and full report below.
Steve Nissen is the former Senior VP of Legal & Government Affairs at NBCUniversal, one of the world’s largest media companies. He is current Board Chair of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp and past Chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, FilmLA, Central City Association and L.A. BioMed. He also serves on the Board of the Metro YMCA. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Nissen worked in the private sector as a partner in the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, public sector as CEO of the California State Bar and senior official with Governor Gray Davis, and nonprofit sector as President of Public Counsel Law Center, which he built into the largest pro bono law firm in the United States. Mr. Nissen received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law. He joined the Parsons board in 2017.