On any given day, there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States. Despite being a system with a public safety mission, foster care or child welfare repeatedly hurts the individuals and communities it is intended to help and protect. The current foster care system is built on narratives shaped by racism, sexism, and child welfare's 100-year history of "saving" children from poor parents. In addition, media coverage continues to focus on the small minority of brutal cases and to traffic in racist stereotypes of Black women and women of color. This contributes to a public perception that vulnerable parents must be dealt with punitively.[i] Similarly, LGBTQ children and youth are also overrepresented in, and disproportionately affected by, and over-represented in the foster care system. LGBTQ youth in foster care also face disparities – differences in experiences in care or treatment by the system. LGBTQ youth in the foster care system also report high rates of harassment and mistreatment in their placements and in congregate care settings. LGBTQ youth are particularly vulnerable to aging out of the system without family or support. However, statistics show that youth who leave the foster care system without a permanent family connection fare poorly, facing poverty, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, and poor health in adulthood.[ii]
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, a private foundation that supports the realization of human rights and social and economic justice for all people, is seeking a part-time consultant to support the Donor Initiatives team with the research of a new initiative aimed to better understand the U.S. Foster Care System landscape from a potential new funder’s perspective.
The consultant will work directly with and support the NY-Based Director and the Fund Advisor with substantial programmatic, strategic, and research work. This is a time-bound consultancy, and it will consist of helping the team identify relevant issues, trends, and developments, as well as funding gaps and grantmaking opportunities and partners. The consultant will also help the team build connections with other field thought leaders. Additional responsibilities include collaborating with program teammates on workflow, educating donors and program staff, and mentoring junior staff on related programmatic issues, communicating strategy and impact with internal audiences. The consultant’s primary responsibilities fall into the following areas:
Funding Opportunities and Grantmaking Support
· Stay well-informed of and educate donors about new developments and trends
in the foster care system field to find emerging needs and gaps, and to provide
analyses and recommendations for funding opportunities.
· Build upon existing partnerships and internal research to help WPF donors find
their niche as new funders in the field.
· Identify efforts to challenge the ways in which the foster care system
disproportionally and negatively impacts Black, Indigenous and People of Color,
and LGBTQ communities.
· Explore emerging grantmaking strategies and potential grantee partnerships;
help the Director manage grantee relationships, analyze background
information, ask for and review funding proposals, determine appropriate
funding levels, and prepare recommendations for the Director and Fund
· Along with the Director and Fund Advisor, conduct site visits (virtually only at
the moment due to COVID19) to monitor grantee work, review progress reports,
evaluate grantee programs, and monitoring use of grant funds.
· Planning and facilitating meetings with staff and donors.
· Develop relevant materials for meetings/calls/and other engagement with
partners, prospects, and other stakeholders.
· Create work plans, reports, and prepare presentations and memos to educate
donors and Director on strategies, emerging areas, and grantmaking impact.
· Build and keep engagement with peer funders, thought leaders, affinity groups,
and organizations working in foster care.
· Participate in team activities to coordinate workflow, learn, align grantmaking,
and represent the team externally.
HOW -- Expectations from our partnership with the consultant(s) and the process
· Leadership and stewardship: The consultant(s) will report to the Director of
Donor Initiatives and will lead the process throughout all stages, from research,
facilitation, coordination, and recommendations.
· A collaborative strategic planning process, involving selected staff and donors,
network organizations, and key stakeholders that allows us to better learn
about the Foster Care System and how to improve the outcomes for BIPOC and
LGBTQ Youth impacted by it.
· Strong, proactive, and timely communication and touch points with the
Director through all stages of the consultancy.
· Ensuring the consultancy project, the internal and external interactions, and
the recommendations and deliverable are consistent with Wellspring’s mission
· The consultancy process will integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion
elements to ensure it is centered in and informed by the communities we aim to
Qualifications and expertise
· Minimum of 7 years of programmatic experience in the US Foster Care System
with a racial and gender justice lens, preferrable within a foundation or
· Strong understanding of how the foster care system disproportionately affects
BIPOC and LGBTQ youth.
· Prior experience with grantmaking strategy strongly preferred.
· Personal lived experience with the US Foster Care System.
· Strong organizational and facilitation skills engaging a variety of diverse
stakeholders in various settings.
· Outstanding ability to effectively manage and meet project deadlines, and to
work independently with minimal supervision.
· Proven organizational skills, with the ability to handle a variety of
programmatic and administrative tasks independently and meet deadlines.
· Excellent research, writing, analytical and communications skills to support
· Initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility, and strong multicultural skills.
· Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
· Consultancy period: Start date anytime between July – August 2021.
· Time commitment: Six Months. 10 – 15 hours/week, with possibility of
· This is a time bound consultancy.
· Consultant will be paid for their services and related expenses only. This role is
not eligible for benefits.
· Location: New York-based, remote work only due to current COVID19
Proposal Submission Instructions
Send your questions and submit proposals to RFPDisp@wpfund.org by July 2, 2021 with the following documents:
· Cover letter with an overview of your practice, a short introduction to you and
your connection to the issue, and a brief description of prior nonprofit and
grantmaking strategic planning and facilitation experience. (2 pages maximum).
· Project proposal outlining of how you would approach addressing the needs
outlined in this RFP, including a proposed budget. (3 - 4 pages maximum).
· Writing sample: Previous work sample on a similar issue (5‐page maximum).
· Current resume with contact information for three professional references.
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed as they are received.
No calls, please.
On any given day, there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States. Despite being a system with a public safety mission, foster care or child welfare repeatedly hurts the individuals and communities it is…