Co-Creating Well-Being

Co-Creating Well-Being: Supporting Children and Families Through Trauma is a multi-year, three-phase initiative by the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York (HFWCNY) to see what is possible when we create solutions with children and families impacted by toxic stress and trauma, rather than for them.

Our goal is to contribute to the work currently being done to address and diminish the biological and developmental impact of toxic stress and trauma on children and families. This initiative recognizes that trauma and toxic stress can lead to challenges throughout the lifespan that can negatively impact child-bearing, childhood development, school readiness, mental and physical health and overall well-being.

The potential vulnerability that can be created by traumatic experiences and toxic stress do not have to dictate future outcomes for children and families. The Foundation has supported individual grants, social/emotional development programs, trauma coalitions and conferences that have focused on raising awareness and services that address trauma and toxic stress. The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is proud of this work and we look forward to working with our funding and community partners. These investments and partnerships provide a strong foundation and natural collaborators for the Co-Creating Well-Being initiative.

We are pleased to share our collaboration with The Chautauqua Community Foundation, The John R. Oishei Foundation, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, and The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation on the first phase of this project.

What does this initiative aim to achieve?

The Health Foundation wants to contribute to the expansion and availability of programs and services that support children five and under impacted by poverty and their families in addressing the potential biological, developmental and emotional impact of trauma and toxic stress.

Co-Creating Well-Being: Supporting Children and Families Through Trauma will:

  1. Provide training, skill development and technical assistance to increase the knowledge, the number and the range of providers informed on trauma, toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and early childhood development.
  2. Introduce and train human-centered design to providers to support new and effective ways to engage with community and to “design with and not for” intended customers.
  3. Increase type and number of available interventions and programs that address the impact of trauma, toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences for children and families.

Co-Creating Well-Being is a multi-year initiative, with three distinct phases:

This project will roll out in three phases; each phase is discrete yet builds onto the next.

Building Capacity
Phase One (2018-2019)

A spectrum of providers who work with children five and under and families from community-based organizations, early childhood centers, and clinics will be provided the opportunity to participate in learning sessions on trauma, toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, early childhood development and human-centered design.

Engaging Communities
Phase Two (2019)

Selected organizations will use human-centered design and tools to engage children and families to obtain information and feedback on community needs. The information will be gathered to develop a written resource that will be made available.

Action Through Grants
Phase Three (2020-2021)

Eligible organizations will have the opportunity to apply for grants that focus on a spectrum of services and interventions which support children and families addressing and healing from trauma. Organizations will be expected to base their design on research and the community insights gathered in Phase Two.


Letter From The President
One Page Program Overview
Women, Children and Trauma White Paper

Program Partners

Collaborative Partners

Funded Partners