A baby girl bonding with her mother at home


Communities of color and low-income communities often face gaps in social support during and immediately following pregnancy. Community-based organizations (CBOs), including social service agencies, nonprofits, and community groups, and allied organizations work to address these gaps, but many are not adequately supported to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

This project, launched in 2019, is a two-year collaboration with The Boston Foundation, The Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Ariadne Labs, and is funded by The Boston Foundation.

This project aims to understand the role of CBOs and allied organizations in improving maternal health outcomes by:

  • Identifying gaps in social support services among CBOs for women of color during pregnancy through one year postpartum,
  • Identifying CBO assets, resources, programs, and expertise relevant to closing the identified gaps in social support services, and
  • Identifying relationships among CBOs that work at the intersection of maternal health and racial equity. 
  • Creating a solution prototype to address the gaps in social support services

To achieve the first two aims, we collected data through surveys and in-depth staff interviews from identified CBOs in the Greater Boston Area. To achieve the third aim, we produced a network analysis of the CBOs working in the Greater Boston Area. We engaged with CBOs and community members through a networking reception and a series of design workshops. We developed a solution prototype to address gaps in social support services based on findings from the surveys, interviews, and design workshops.

Please read the summary of findings in the Executive Summary.