Stories from the Field: Essentials for Childhood Framework

NACCHO’s Injury and Violence Prevention team, along with support from CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, is sharing five stories of health departments engaged in projects based on the the Essentials for Childhood Framework. The framework calls for creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children, with the aim to prevent child abuse and neglect and to assure that all children reach their full potential. Each story highlights the positive development of children and families while exploring different strategies to adopt the framework in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.

    1. Translating Child Adversity Data into Actionable Information
      California Department of Public Health
      The California Essentials for Childhood (EfC) Initiative launched a new set of child adversity and resilience data indicators on Kidsdata.org. Furthermore, the initiative created state and local dashboards to bring together sources of data that represent a broader set of life experiences than originally reflected in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, such as living in poverty or dangerous neighborhoods. The goal was to make these data widely available and provide training on how to talk about adversity to increase local capacity for preventive action.
    2. Colorado’s Family Friendly Workplace Approach
      Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
      As an Essentials for Childhood recipient, Colorado chose to focus on employer engagement as one strategy to address child abuse and neglect prevention and promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. The Colorado Essentials for Childhood project leveraged partnerships and resources to develop the Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit, which provides employers with evidence-informed practices and policies that enhance employee health and well-being.
    3. Honoring Essential Agents of Change: A Partnership Strategy 
      Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood
      Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood (MA EfC) promotes a variety of opportunities communities can employ to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments to prevent child abuse and neglect. To highlight an expansive view of partnership, MA EfC created the Essential Agent of Change Awards, which honors community groups with missions that don’t directly address child abuse and neglect prevention, but still strengthen protective factors in families and communities that support safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families.
    4. North Carolina Essentials for Childhood
      North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health
      In 2014, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Division of Public Health (DPH), convened a statewide Task Force on Essentials for Childhood, tasked with developing a collaborative, evidence-based, public health initiative to address child abuse and neglect prevention and family well-being in North Carolina. The Task Force issued 15 recommendations aimed at improving collaboration and ensuring safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for North Carolina’s children.
    5. Community Leaders Connect in ACEs and Resilience Community of Practice
      Washington State Department of Health
      It takes a tireless dedication to help your community thrive and to assist those who struggle with health or social challenges. Often the work occurs in isolation and with limited feedback. Washington State received an overwhelming response when it offered to bring together individuals from across the state to talk, reflect, increase their knowledge, build relationships, and problem-solve about child abuse and neglect prevention strategies.

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