The UCLA Pritzker Center was made possible by a generous gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation. The Pritzkers are Los Angeles philanthropists and leading supporters of UCLA who have made significant investments toward bettering the lives of foster youth and their families. The Pritzker gift also establishes The Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education for Strengthening Children & Families in the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, to provide faculty leadership for the Center. With this generous endowment created by the Pritzker family, the UCLA Pritzker Center promises to be a lasting resource for the children and families of Los Angeles and beyond.
Tyrone Howard, PhD, UCLA Professor of Education and Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, will serve as Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. Howard is also the Founder and Director of the Black Male Institute at UCLA. Audra Langley, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, will serve as Co-Director. She is the Director of UCLA TIES for Families, an interdisciplinary program serving children in foster care or adopted through foster care. Patricia Lester, MD, from the UCLA Semel Institute and Todd Franke, PhD, of the UCLA Department of Social Welfare will also serve on the Leadership Team.
A staff director will be hired over the coming months to manage the day-to-day work of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.
Yes, we hope that the UCLA Pritzker Center will serve as a catalyst for more effective collaboration across Los Angeles County, linking UCLA’s work with non-profit agencies, K-12 systems, other educational institutions, government support services, and children and family advocates. The Center will work to develop collaborative and innovative classroom support systems, family support services, and trauma and resiliency- informed care. The Center will conduct innovative research with an initial focus on the dynamics of race in foster care in Los Angeles County, with the goal of informing and shaping new approaches.
In establishing The UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, the University will bring together and leverage a wide variety of UCLA resources and expertise – beginning with the UCLA Department of Education, the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the UCLA Department of Social Welfare, and other schools and departments across campus to address the complex needs of youth in foster care.
The new center will serve as a collaborative hub for research, prevention and intervention efforts, working to strengthen families to prevent children from entering the child welfare system, and to support those in it. It will aim to build the capacity of foster parents, relative caregivers, and adoptive families to promote stable and nurturing families, equitable opportunities, and paths to educational success.
The center will conduct new research, beginning with an examination of the dynamics of race and poverty in foster care in Los Angeles County. Leaders at the UCLA Pritzker Center will proactively and strategically link UCLA’s work to nonprofit agencies, K-12 systems, other education institutions, and government support services as we develop collaborative and innovative classroom support systems, family support services, and trauma and resiliency informed care.
“We have long been doing important work at UCLA to help optimize the development of children in foster care but there is more to be done to synergize our efforts. This new Center will leverage our campus-wide experience to propel collaborative partnerships with others across Los Angeles County working to better serve our children and young people in foster care and prioritize brighter futures for all children and families.”
– Audra Langley, PhD, Co-Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families