Announcing Three Community-Led Data Awardees 

This year, Best Starts will begin a community-led data process to collect information and help understand and evaluate what pregnant people and families with children elementary age or younger are experiencing.  

Through our Community-Led Data request for proposals (RFP), partners will collect data that provides insight for their communities as a whole and include family voices. 

We’re excited to announce the three awardees for our Community-Led Data RFP!  

Read about the three awarded organizations, the work they’re doing in their own words and what they’re most excited about in this partnership: 

Community Café Collaborative  

The Community Café Collaborative is committed to advancing the protective factors that are a birth right of every child and believes that parent resilience is key in creating the foundation for children and families to thrive.  

Our mission is centered on strengthening families and communities by sparking the leadership and relationships needed to create more inclusive and equitable systems. The Community Café approach is a peer-led method of gathering the collective voice of families, building on existing strengths, and organizing neighborhood wisdom into action.  

We are proud to have partnered with Best Starts for Kids on past data dive work and are thrilled to be a part of this inaugural community-led data collection project. We are looking forward to forging new, and improving upon existing relationships with families within the engaged communities. We plan to support them as they lead in gathering data via methods and practices that are culturally specific to their communities. 

Photos provided by Community Café Collaborative 

Indian American Community Services (IACS)  

The IACS Early Childhood Enrichment services strengthen our immigrant families by engaging parents/caregiver and their children, and helping them to thrive in their communities.  

Our culturally competent and inclusive approach is supported by multilingual and multicultural instructors, facilitators and counselors, who help families grapple with the many challenges they may face as immigrants and refugees.  

IACS will use culturally-nuanced listening sessions in the format of a “parents tea”, moderated by a familiar and trusted individual from within our community, to highlight the parenting-related issues that are currently most pressing for our community and subsequently brainstorm potential solutions, as this data collection method has been successful previously. 

The IACS team is excited about its partnership with Best Starts for Kids in engaging our early childhood families to hear about their needs, challenges and approaches that can help us provide innovative, nuanced services eventually supporting the Best Starts goal of a happy, healthy, safe, and thriving community. 

Photos provided by Indian American Community Services

United Communities of Laos (UCL) 

United Communities of Laos was formed in 2020, representing a millennia of rich cultural diversity and proud heritage in the form of five member groups, most of whom arrived as refugees from Laos and have had long-standing histories in the Seattle area: Hmong Association of Washington, Lao Community Service Center, Lao-Khmu Association, Lao Women Association of Washington, and Pom Foundation. 

What’s next for UCL: 

  • Collect data about the Communities and work to improve the health, well-being, relationships with practitioners, and advance equity for the pregnant people and families with children elementary age or younger in our Communities in King County 
  • Build our capacity to do advocacy and civic engagement together 
  • Build sustainable communities and sustainable funding to support our respective communities to thrive and grow 
  • Work toward a shared goal of owning a cultural center in King County to host UCL organizations and to support their programs 

We are excited for the Best Starts for Kids Community-Led Data Grant. We look forward to formalizing our data and tracking system.  

Photos provided by United Communities of Laos

A look at the work ahead 

Over the next three years, Community-Led Data partners will each implement two rounds of data collection, analysis, and communication, grounded in community voice throughout the process:  

2023: plan, train, build relationships, and collect data 

2024: analyze data, share findings, sustain relationships, adjust 

2025: collect and analyze data again, share findings 

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