I want to shout it from the rooftops!

- Pat Sauer



Great Results!

Building Strong Families

Foster Advocates

Founded in 2018, Foster Advocates remains committed to improving Minnesota’s child welfare system guided by people most impacted: the youth. Their work harnesses foster youth voice to ensure that everyone involved in our foster care system has equal access to opportunities and outcomes. Applying three directives: Relationships, Research and Reform they have produced the following wins for Minnesota foster youth.

2021: Fostering Higher Education Act - in the 2022-2023 academic year, 492 foster youth participating in the MN Fostering Independence Grant (FIG) received a total of $4,250,501 in college tuition support.

2022: Establishment of the Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson who investigate, take complaints, monitor and develop public policy to improve outcomes for families. It is supported by a $726,000 annual budget.

2022: Maya’s Law ensures that interviews by child welfare investigators take place outside the presence of the alleged abuser.

2023: Foster Success Expansion - a $1 million, 2-year allocation for education and wrap around supports.

2024: Law makers increased the FIG allocation by $5 million to further support the increasing number of participating students.


Emotional Well-Being

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities has integrated new tools, supports, and practices to prioritize mental well-being, and has created a shift among club youth in understanding that everyone benefits from mental wellness support. BGCTC Staff are observing positive impacts of elevated trauma-informed staff training, added resources of sensory rooms and trauma informed toolkits, and the normalization for youth and staff to ask for the support they need to cope, practice positive self-care, and move forward in positive ways. Using staff and community expertise, 98 adults received professional development in trauma-informed practices. Across 11 local clubs, nearly 1500 children learned resilience practices.

Conscious Discipline

Conscious Discipline is a trauma-informed social and emotional learning method that was piloted in the White Bear Lake Early Childhood Program. The results show that it increased self-regulation skills in 100% of the early childhood staff. The four-year-old children learned a lot as well - 90% of them increased their self-awareness and self-regulation skills. This change helped in their relationships in the classroom and at home. It also helped their decision-making skills. All of it added up to calmer early childhood classrooms! Kudos to Angela Drange and her staff! https://consciousdiscipline.com/


Educational Success

Bethany Lutheran College

Dr. Carrie Pfeifer is leading systems change work in the Browne Intervention Clinic at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Her innovative model pairs aspiring educators with struggling readers. This gives multiple benefits. Local students access 1:1 quality tutoring that can be prohibitively expensive for low-income families and improve their skills through interventions aligned with the science of reading. College students have an opportunity to put learning into practice before they head into classrooms. All this under the watchful eye of Dr. Pfeifer. Imagine how many students and new educators could be supported if every teacher preparation program in Minnesota offered a local literacy clinic!


Diverse Workforce

Since 2021, Sauer Family Foundation grants have supported over 420 aspiring and new career professionals as they enter the fields of Education, Social Work and Children’s Mental Health. In Education, the percentage of teachers identifying as American Indian of People of Color has risen from 6% to 7.2%. For newly graduating teachers, that figure is 11%. This is significant growth and demonstrates the impact when philanthropy, public policy, and public funding work together to create change.


Additional Resources:

Sauer Family Foundation Resource Page

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: https://www.nctsn.org/

Child Mind Institute: https://childmind.org/

Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/