Innovative Grant will Support ‘Safety Net’ Reporting in The Chronicle of Social Change

The Chronicle of Social Change, a national news outlet covering children, youth and families, has received a $200,000 two-year grant from California-based Walter S. Johnson Foundation to launch a groundbreaking fellowship program.

Through the grant, The Chronicle will find and work with a senior-level reporter who will be tasked with producing to-flight journalism on the intersection of foster care and the country’s social safety net programs. The stories produced will appear both in The Chronicle and partner news outlets – ensuring wide distribution.

“We are living through an extraordinary period in history, one defined by radical changes in public programs which will have tremendous impact to families in the child welfare system,” said Walter S. Johnson Foundation Program Director Yali Lincroft. "Technical changes in regulation and policies in the alphabet soup of safety net programs are understood by only a handful of government officials, nonprofit providers and policy wonks. But the implications of reductions in these programs will impact thousands.  The Chronicle is uniquely qualified to host this fellowship program, given their experience and commitment to providing solution-oriented journalism specifically focused on this vulnerable population."

 The Safety Net Reporting Fellow will focus on California and Nevada, braiding together the stories of local characters with state and federal policy.

“If you hadn’t noticed, local journalism has been hit hard since the rise of the Internet,” said Chronicle Publisher Daniel Heimpel. “This fellowship will allow us to inject some serious reporting with national context into local markets. We are absolutely thrilled at this opportunity.”

The Chronicle’s yet-to-be-announced Safety Net Fellow will cover issues facing children, youth and families involved in the child welfare system including: access to Social Security benefits, housing, childcare, parenting and food security.


ABOUT Fostering Media Connections and The Chronicle of Social Change
Fostering Media Connections (FMC) is a nonprofit news organization that uses a mix of investigative and accountability journalism to drive reform within the systems that serve vulnerable children, youth and their families.  

FMC publishes The Chronicle of Social Change and Fostering Families Today magazine. Through its Youth Voice Program, FMC trains youth who have experienced the foster care or juvenile justice systems how to produce top-flight journalism. Beyond producing stories, FMC employs an aggressive dissemination strategy to see its stories re-published in other media outlets, amplifying impact.

ABOUT The Walter S. Johnson Foundation

The Walter S. Johnson Foundation seeks to help youth become successful adults by preparing them to participate fully in their education, their workplaces and their communities. For more information, visit