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Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance

Project Snapshot

Contra Costa County, Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD), Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative


Establish a countywide network for Contra Costa Family Justice Centers, the Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance (Alliance), including establishing an effective shared governance structure and a sustainability plan for new, existing, and future Family Justice Centers in the county.


December 2014 – June 2016

What We Did

Discovery: Review and Research

During the six-month-long initial phase of planning, GPG conducted a review of existing Family Justice Centers around the country and researched effective models for shared governance and sustainability, both within and beyond Family Justice Centers. This research identified three potential models for governance: a traditional 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a government-run program, and a hybrid model involving a strong public/private partnership.

Design: Governance Structure and Sustainability Recommendations

Over a period of nine months, GPG facilitated a small planning group, consisting of representatives from the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative, local government, and community-based organizations, to consider the findings from the discovery phase and develop recommendations for governance and sustainability. The planning team ultimately determined that a hybrid governance structure, with a strong public/private partnership, would work best for the Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance. Specifically, the planning team proposed the creation of a new 501(c)(3) organization with a Board of Directors that included both community representatives (individual seats) and representatives from government, nonprofit, and private agencies (institutional seats). This structure is designed to maintain and enhance support from a diverse set of public agencies and private and nonprofit organizations and draw upon the experience and expertise of individual community members. In addition, this structure reflects the public/private partnerships already in place at each Family Justice Center in the county. Simultaneously, GPG worked with a subset of the planning group to develop recommendations for financial sustainability with a focus on revenue diversification. The design phase continued as stakeholders (including community members, partner organizations, and potential funders) provided feedback on the proposed governance and sustainability structures during the engagement phase.

Report Development

To document and effectively frame the recommendations emerging from the Design phase, GPG developed a written report, “Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance: Recommendations for Governance and Sustainability.” This report includes contextual and background information about the county’s Family Justice Centers, a proposed governance model for the Alliance, and recommendations for the financial sustainability of the Alliance.


  • The final report, “Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance: Recommendations for Governance and Sustainability,” was presented to and adopted by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in June 2016.
  • The Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance was established as a 501(c)(3) organization and a Board of Directors was seated in Fall 2016. This 13 member Board of Directors includes six individual and seven institutional representatives.