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For Immediate Release
January 11, 2010

Contact: Erika Monroe-Kane, Department of Children and Families, 608-266-9000

DCF Announces $2 Million in Milwaukee Brighter Futures Grants to Improve the Lives of Children, Youth, and Families

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) today announced $2,075,000 in grants for twenty-seven projects that will improve the lives of children, youth, and families in Milwaukee County. The grants were awarded through the Milwaukee Brighter Future Initiative, which is a coalition of organizations that work to promote health, safety and self-sufficiency for youth, families and neighborhoods.

"We know prevention is critical to protecting children, strengthening families and building communities," stated Reggie Bicha, DCF Secretary. "These community initiatives positively impact more children and youth through their collaboration because they bring organizations together to reach youth before they are in crisis."

The successful projects focused on prevention and were distributed in four major funding areas: child abuse and neglect prevention; positive youth development; youth futures; and community-wide initiatives. This year’s grant application process placed a higher emphasis on programs with youth and families who are at risk of involvement or are currently involved with the child welfare system, including youth in foster care.

These community-driven efforts have the greatest impact on children at risk for violence, child abuse, and alcohol or drug abuse. Through the Brighter Futures initiative, numerous organizations and task forces work collaboratively on building a strong community network to prevent children and youth from entering the child welfare system. These grants will fund programs that not only focus on preventing child abuse and neglect but also stop teen violence and other delinquent behavior; and reduce teen pregnancy; address teen alcohol and other drug use and abuse.

While each of the 130 agencies involved have a significant impact on the lives of Milwaukee’s children and youth, the collective influence of these organizations through the Brighter Futures initiative creates a greater impact that protects children, strengthens families, and builds communities.


The Department of Children and Families is dedicated to protecting children, strengthening families and building communities. Since the formation of the Department 18 months ago, DCF has made improvements to better serve the changing needs of Wisconsin’s families and to ensure a better future for parents and children.


Community Advocates, the lead agency that administers the Brighter Futures Initiative in Milwaukee County, has maintained and strengthened its mission to provide basic needs advocacy and services to low-income, at-risk individuals and families in the Milwaukee area.

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Attachment: 2010 Brighter Futures Grant Recipients including amounts

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.