Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


The mission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Their goal is to help society transform itself for the better. Among its priorities, the Foundation works closely with vulnerable populations in areas outside traditional health care settings to improve health where it starts –in schools, jobs, or homes. RWJF’s Vulnerable Populations Portfolio is a diverse collection of innovative programs that addresses longstanding health issues within their broader social context that have the potential for widespread replication and national impact.

RWJF is interested in social and emotional learning (SEL) as a vehicle for ensuring the healthy development of youth within a school-based context. CASEL’s Collaborating District Initiative (CDI) is well aligned with RWJF priorities given its focus on systemic SEL implementation in school districts as well as national growth.

In 2012, RWJF and CASEL embarked on a project to identify effective financial strategies for SEL sustainability in CASEL’s CDI districts and others across the country. For this work, CASEL is also partnering with the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS), a strategic resource for promoting child and adolescent well-being through school-based health and mental health program. In collaboration with RWJF, CHHCS is focused on building and enhancing systems that support and sustain school-based SEL.

CASEL’s work with RWJF and CHHCS is divided into three phases:

  1. engaging a national school finance expert to develop strategies and tools on district resource allocation;
  2. working with CDI districts to utilize these resource allocation tools and develop individual sustainability plans for the SEL initiative; and
  3. with CHHCS, synthesizing lessons learned and developing a best practices tool to support other school districts in sustaining SEL initiatives.