Everyone wants the best for their children. Yet today’s youth are the first in two centuries who may have shorter life spans than their parents. Children’s health – their mental, physical, social and emotional well-being – grows out of the opportunities available to them in the fundamental places that make up their lives: family, school and community. Too often, the choices families make – about what they eat, how they exercise, and how they interact with each other and those around them – put them at growing risk for emotional problems, chronic disease and premature death.
As the culmination of Dr. Rotheram’s expertise, passion, and advocacy, The UCLA Family Commons was created to bridge the gap between what researchers know and how families make decisions. UCLA researchers, as well as researchers globally, have created and tested thousands of evidence-based intervention programs that are not being used by families, schools, health centers, or social service agencies. Dr. Rotheram and her partner, Dr. Dianne Flannery, created The UCLA Family Commons to synthesize the best science on children and families’ well-being and transform how science gets embedded into everyday family life.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W. K. Kellog Foundation, and Unihealth, The UCLA Family Commons in Santa Monica and at the Robert F. Kennedy School Community Schools in Los Angeles offer science-based wellness programs and tools that help families bring healthier routines into their daily lives. All programs are based on the same framework and aim to train a set of skills, practices, and principles that cross children’s ages and specific behavioral challenges.