Helping Parents & Caregivers Teach
Social Emotional Skills to Children

Click here to apply

Through our Focused Funding initiatives, Bright Promises Foundation directs resources to innovative programs that address a critical emerging issue faced by at-risk children that is under-recognized and underfunded. We provide capacity-building support and  multi-year funding while also striving to increase awareness and resources to address these issues.

How do we know what social concerns constitute as the next most pressing emerging issue for at-risk children? We rely on the experts.

To determine where Bright Promises should focus our support, we convene an impressive community of leaders from diverse fields and backgrounds in the child-serving community including health, education, youth development, and social work. Based on the recommendations of these experts, Bright Promises selects a single emerging issue that greatly impacts at-risk children in Illinois and is currently under-recognized and underfunded.

As other funders and agencies take on greater responsibility to address these issues, we shift our attention to the next emerging issue. We change or add a focus every 4 to 6 years to ensure we are always addressing the emerging needs of vulnerable children.


Guidelines for the 2018 Social Emotional Learning at Home grant cycle are now available. Please review these guidelines carefully to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible and interested in submitting a grant proposal, please complete the Letter of Intent application linked below and return via email.


Deadline to submit Letter  Of Intent - February 2 at 5:00  pm

Organizations  selected to submit a full proposal will be notified by - February 9

Deadline to submit  full proposal - March 30

Grant Decisions  Announced - June 14

Grant Checks  Distributed - July 1


Current Initiatives

2016 - 2021

Social  Emotional Learning at Home

Helping Parents & Caregivers to Teach Social Emotional Skills to Children

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is integral to a child's well-being, teaching healthy stress management,  positive self-esteem, conflict resolution, positive interpersonal relationships, and self-control. Research has consistently shown that these are learned skills; however, children do not always learn these skills at home. Research also confirms that children succeed when parents are engaged and involved with their children's education.  

Most SEL programs and curricula are currently delivered either directly to children at schools and in some after school and summer programs.  Through our Focus Panel Process, together with leading experts in SEL, Bright Promises determined that there is a lack of and a need for programming that provides parents with the skills to intentionally model and teach SEL skills to their children.  Bright Promises believes that if parents and caregivers are equipped to promote these positive life skills at home, children will be exponentially more likely to lead happy, successful and fulfilling lives.

Read the most recent evaluation results for this initiative here.

2012 - 2019

Promoting Resilience

Promoting Resilience in Children Experiencing or Exposed to Trauma: Creating a Trauma-Informed Culture to Help Children Thrive

Many Illinois children have experienced one or more traumatic occurrences such as violence, poverty, abuse or neglect which can often lead to adverse behaviors, mental illness and many other social, emotional and cognitive impairments. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between childhood trauma and negative health and behavioral outcomes later in life. The good news is that these negative outcomes can be prevented if the child feels protected and is surrounded by adults that can provide certain coping skills and a positive environment.

As a part of this initiative, Bright Promises has also partnered with the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition to create “Look Through Their Eyes,” a website with resources for parents and caregivers that includes a series of PSA videos about childhood trauma. Watch them here.

While no new grants will be made in this program, BPF will continue to support current Promoting Resilience grantees until 2019.

Apply for Focused Funding

Please read through our guidelines and submit a letter of intent.

See below for current guidelines and applications. Please read the guidelines carefully as there are changes from previous years. Letters of Intent should be e-mailed to Lauren Krieg at as one PDF attachment. 

Download a Letter of Intent Form. Please read the guidelines carefully before applying!