Funds for Prevention, Improving Nurturing Connections Between Caregivers and Young Children, and Building Family Resilience

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) Announces $1.3 Million in Grants to Sesame Workshop and the American Academy of Pediatrics to Fight Youth Opioid and Overdose Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2023) -- The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) today announced grants totaling $1,341,000 to Sesame Workshop and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for initiatives to fight the opioid and overdose crisis that is devastating America’s youth. The announcement was made at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC during National Recovery Month, where FORE outlined its broad agenda to expand its focus on children, youth, and families.

Since its founding five years ago in 2018, FORE has now given 100 grants, totaling $39,219,374 to 88 organizations across the country working on solutions to the opioid and overdose crisis that is gripping our nation.

“Drug overdose deaths among US adolescents and young adults have significantly increased in recent years, largely due to fentanyl, xylazine, and other adulterated substances. An estimated 8.7 million children ages 17 or younger live in households with at least one parent who has a substance use disorder,” said Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, president of FORE. “This is tragic and unsustainable. FORE is partnering with Sesame Workshop, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations across the country to develop programs that will engage and empower vulnerable families and communities to prevent youth opioid use disorder and overdose.”

For young children who live in households with a parent who has a substance use disorder there can be significant ramifications on factors important for development, such as a sense of security, emotional support, and predictable routines. When in the throes of addiction, parents can face incredible guilt and shame because they are unable to offer the nurturing connections necessary for children's well-being. Sesame Workshop, the global impact non-profit behind Sesame Street, is receiving a FORE grant of $841,000 to leverage existing tools, create new resources, and develop professional training to improve nurturing connections between parents, caregivers, and young children, leading to family resilience. The funding will enable Sesame Workshop to expand its library of Parental Addiction resources, which include free, bilingual storybooks, videos, and interactive digital activities featuring the Muppet, Karli, and designed to help children impacted by parental substance misuse. Sesame Workshop will collaborate with two other FORE grantees, the Morgan County Partnership in West Virginia and Denver Health, as well as All Rise (formerly the National Association of Drug Court Professionals), to develop tools that strengthen connections between adults and children throughout a parent's recovery.

"When a parent struggles with addiction, the whole family struggles," said Jeanette

Betancourt, Ed.D., senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “With this generous support from FORE, we aim to equip caring adults with tools to comfort and guide young children through these difficult moments. Together, we can help families heal, reestablish trust, and find their path to recovery."

Pediatricians, including adolescent medicine physicians, are on the front lines of the opioid crisis affecting children and young adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is receiving a FORE grant of $500,000 to improve the prevention, early identification, and treatment of substance use among adolescents and young adults by strengthening the capacity of pediatricians and pediatric health care providers to care for them and their families. As part of the project, the AAP will create a Pathways to Resilience Toolkit offering practical strategies for having conversations with youth about opioid use disorder and the risks of overdose from experimental or incidental drug use, with a particular emphasis on the current risks of fentanyl exposure. It will also offer clinicians guidance on age-appropriate prevention, harm reduction, and treatment strategies, and how to eliminate stigma that can impede open discussions about substance use. As the largest pediatric professional organization in the country, with over 67,000 members, the AAP is uniquely positioned to play a key role in addressing the youth opioid and overdose crisis. 

“As pediatricians, our primary concern is the health and well-being of our adolescent and young adult patients,” said Debra Waldron, MD, MPH, FAAP, senior vice president of Healthy Resilient Children, Youth & Families at the AAP. “We recognize the urgency of tackling the youth opioid and overdose crisis, especially in the context of the growing fentanyl crisis, and are pleased to partner with FORE to create new resources for pediatricians. This funding will help AAP create an array of resources to empower our pediatricians to have honest and constructive conversations with youth and their families.”


Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)
FORE was founded in 2018 as a private 501(c)(3) national, grant-making foundation focused on addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. FORE is committed to funding a diversity of projects contributing solutions to the crisis at national, state, and community levels. FORE’s mission is to support partners advancing patient-centered, innovative, evidence-based solutions impacting people experiencing opioid use disorder, their families, and their communities. Through convening, grantmaking and developing informational resources, FORE seeks to bring about long-term change. To date, FORE has awarded 100 grants to 88 organizations, totaling $39,219,374 million. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sesame Workshop 
Sesame Workshop is the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street and so much more. For over 50 years, we have worked at the intersection of education, media, and research, creating joyful experiences that enrich minds and expand hearts, all in service of empowering each generation to build a better world. Our beloved characters, iconic shows, outreach in communities, and more bring playful early learning to families in more than 150 countries and advance our mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Learn more at and follow Sesame Workshop on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

The American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Learn more at and follow AAP on social media @AmerAcadPeds.