Launched in 2000, the Andrus Family Fund aims to nurture fair and sustainable change for vulnerable youth in the United States, through the support of organizations that advance social justice and improved outcomes for these populations. The mission of the Andrus Fund is to empower young people of color who have experience with foster care and/or juvenile justice systems.
In the United States alone, more than 30 million young people have been impacted by disruptive systems, such as foster care or the juvenile justice system. These experiences have compromised their first chance at a successful life. As these young people are aged out of foster care, or released from juvenile justice systems, they are often left in a very precarious situation, more vulnerable to adverse life outcomes than they were before their system experience. “Graduates” of these systems often enter the adult world minus connections and positive supports and services that can increase the odds of them leading a stable, happy, and productive life.
Andrus Family Fund endeavors to change these odds, to connect vulnerable populations to caring communities, and to offer essential services and skills that were not presented earlier in their lives. In this way, it seeks to ensure a second chance at a successful life.
The Andrus Family Fund promotes the above goals through several activities, including:
Grantmaking – support the growth and development of those organizations whose work directly connects vulnerable youth with the people and services they require.
Research – command and conduct research that that serves as the basis of creating sustainable livelihoods for at-risk young adults and their support system.
Storytelling – Produce and distribute a great podcast series called Out of the Margins, which uses candid conversations to create awareness about and uplift partner organizations.
Education Anew: Shifting Justice – Co-host a biannual conference of grantee partners and allies. This provides an opportunity for organizers, advocates, and youth of color to create relationships, share knowledge, and produce action plans in support of the mission of youth justice and education justice.
Learning Sessions – Offer webinar sessions to advance effective practices in support of the Fund’s mission.
Social Justice Toolkit – The Fund offers a curriculum to encourage the growth of the next generation of grantmakers.