Building a future where all children thrive.

The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities understands what it takes for children to thrive and finds new, more innovative and effective ways to make that possible -- disrupting norms; creating new, equity-focused measurement systems; bringing disparate (often unlikely) expertise and perspectives together; building new frameworks; engaging communities as activists and engines for positive change; challenging and shifting power relationships -- to inform, inspire, and motivate strategic investment and meaningful improvements in equitable children’s health, development and well-being. Working across multiple disciplines to understand and solve problems, we never forget that behind every data point, there’s a child. This inspires our efforts to develop better systems and improve the quality of services for vulnerable populations, and to create more effective child and family advocacy strategies at the community level.


Group of kids walking along the beach at sunset.

Our Approach

The Center is a field-builder, working to drive innovative approaches to children’s health and well-being at scale, attracting others to solving important problems with us, and shining a light on systemic issues. We approach problem-solving through inclusive decision-making and seek to empower stakeholders such as community leaders and partners who are closest to the problem.

Our Approach

Photograph of three children laying in a multi-colored ballpit.

Our People

The Center is led by Founding Director, Neal Halfon, MD MPH, who has been instrumental in advancing research, policy, and systems innovations focused on the healthy development of children. He has led the development of the life course health sciences, with a particular focus on developing theory and translating research findings into clinical, programmatic and policy interventions. 

Center Faculty & Staff