Building Community, Building Hope

Building Community, Building Hope is a video series showing real-world, collaborative solutions to the problem of child abuse and neglect.

About the Video Series

We know that there is tremendous power in communities to solve the problem of child abuse and neglect. We also know that families don’t exist in a bubble—they are affected by community factors around them. Housing, healthcare, jobs—all of these are important in understanding the types of stresses that families encounter.

“Building Community, Building Hope” shows real-world collaborative solutions in action. The film highlights three innovative programs working to prevent and respond to child maltreatment by engaging parents and communities and forming the partnerships needed to ensure the safety and well-being of all children and families:

Partners United for Supportive Housing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Partners United for Supportive Housing in Cedar Rapids (PUSH-CR) is one of five national supportive housing projects funded by Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Children’s Bureau). PUSH-CR is a five year project designed for families in the child welfare system who are facing homelessness or a housing crisis. PUSH-CR families are rapidly housed in safe and affordable homes within fourteen days, connected with safe and affordable homes, and program staff work to assist parents with their DHS case, assess their needs and help families meet their goals to stay together.

Watch PUSH-CR Video (7:55)

For more information, contact: Kelli Malone, or visit

Fostering Hope Initiative in the mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Fostering Hope Initiative in central Oregon is a neighborhood-based collective impact initiative. It is designed to promote the positive development of children, strengthen families, and build community by mobilizing natural neighborhood supports and building an integrated system of community support and services. FHI assumes that safe, stable, nurturing relationships are the key social determinant of positive child development; that toxic stress interferes with attachment between parents and children; and that toxic stress can be reduced to healthy, or at least tolerable, levels by promoting five key Strengthening Families Protective Factors. Catholic Community Services is the lead partner, collaborating with numerous state and local government agencies, public and private sector organizations, education entities, local service providers, and community members to implement the Fostering Hope in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

Watch Fostering Hope Initiative Video (6:18)

For more information, contact: or

Magnolia Community Initiative in Los Angeles, California

The Magnolia Place Community Imitative is based on a hope and dream: That the 35,000 children and youth, especially the youngest ones, living in the neighborhoods within the 500 blocks of the Magnolia Catchment Area, south of downtown Los Angeles, will break all records of success in their education, health, and the quality of nurturing care and economic stability they receive from their families and community. The network of partners is working to unite the county, city and community to create sustainable change for families. It accomplishes this by promoting and strengthening individual, family and neighborhood protective factors through increasing social connectedness, community mobilization and access to needed services.

Watch Magnolia Community Initiative Video (6:39)

For more information, contact: Lila Guirguis, Director, or visit

We encourage communities to use this film to foster conversations about what we as a society can—and should—do to ensure children grow up to achieve their full potential, free from abuse and neglect. Share it with your staff, programs, partners, community, and policy makers. Feel free to use or adapt the resources provided above to help you in this process.

How This Film Came to Be Made —  and Where We Hope to Go From Here [PDF]

Building Community, Building Hope had its origins in the Children's Bureau's recognition of the frustrationswe know that many who work in the field of child maltreatment prevention and intervention often feel related to the frequent disconnect between what you know and what you do, and the difficulties you often experience in trying to build the partnerships that are so essential to protecting children and strengthening families. We wanted to set the table for conversations about ways to overcome these frustrations by showcasing what is working.

We chose a film as a way to move forward because film can inspire, and is a powerful way to reach both minds ands hearts. We thought that film was the right media for the positive storytelling we wanted to do about the ways people are putting research into practice and forming partnerships that make a difference.

The film had its origins in a series of conversations with leaders at all levels from around the country about the current state of child maltreatment. The conversations were led by the filmmakers, The Department of Expansion, a Los Angeles-based film production company whose track record included powerful, positive, narrative films on issues just as complex as child welfare and achieving child, family and community well-being. The insights they gathered were shared with Children's Bureay leadership, resulting in agreement on the messaging strategy that underlies all the Building Community, Building Hope stories.

The Children's Bureau provided recommendations to the filmmakers about several innovative programs that were directly or indirectly funded in whole or part with CB funding. (Inclusion of the programs in the film does not imply an endorsement of the program.)

This film represents 'Phase I' of a multi-year Children's Bureau endeavor. Phase II will add to the library of in-depth "working" films, each designed to dig deep around a particular solutions story.