Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Families Help Everyone Achieve their Fullest Potential
December 2020
2020 - the Year that Changed Everything

The start to a new decade was certainly not what anyone anticipated. The pandemic, new civil rights movement, deep political division, economic recession, and loneliness of 2020 has been unprecedented. This year has changed the way we work, learn, spend, celebrate, grieve, and connect. Many families will not only not gather but will experience the deep sorrow of first holidays without those who have not survived COVID-19 due to the physical or psychological hardship that this year has created. We need to bear witness to feelings of loss at all levels - from birthdays and wedding parties to trips, jobs, and homes. This year has forced us to pay attention to the way racism manifests itself in our lives and the systems in which we work. The year has put a spotlight on the family and the supports needed for everyone to be okay. It calls us to not return to "normal" when vaccines have been distributed but to reimagine what we can be. The JIF team has and continues to reflect on our role in creating a new future. We hope you will join us on this shared path.
Our team wishes you and your family hope, togetherness, and love in 2021.
Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting

Voting is a social justice issue. This fall, the Jordan Institute coordinated a coalition of students, staff, faculty and alumni to form Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting (C-SWAV). The group worked to 1) keep the School of Social Work community informed on how to vote safely and effectively; 2) provide resources to inform the individuals and organizations in the community with whom we work on how to vote safely and effectively; and 3) highlight the importance of voter engagement as a social work value and the issue of voter suppression as a civil rights issue. We created a page on the Jordan Institute for Families website with information about voting as well as a list of documentaries, podcasts, and digital art galleries about voting, highlighting Stacey Abrams’ new documentary, “All In: The Fight for Democracy.” We hosted two virtual events. The first was a screening of the documentary “Capturing the Flag” about voter suppression in North Carolina in 2016. Jenn Frye, a democracy activist featured in the film, joined in for a Q&A and an update on challenges to democracy this election. We also partnered with VotER for a “textbanking” event in which participants reached out to people in their networks to ask their plan for voting. The field education team provided strong leadership in integrating voting work into placements. Classroom materials were made available to faculty. C-SWAV also worked with SSW leadership to create plans to support the larger school community in the days following the election. Many thanks to the action committee and a special shout out to Averyl Edwards and Madison Ferrara, JIF interns, for their energy and work!
NC Child Well-Being and COVID-19
The North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP), first developed in 2018, identifies statewide goals and data benchmarks for young children from birth through age 8. The plan identifies 10 areas of child well-being including reading at grade level, food security, and social-emotional health. The Jordan Institute for Families began working with NC DHHS on improving early childhood data systems to support the goals of the ECAP. After the pandemic hit North Carolina, it became clear that many of the metrics used to measure progress in the ECAP would be impacted by the pandemic and the economic downfall. These impacts include two areas: 1) changes in the quality of the data sources used in the ECAP, and 2) changes in the vulnerability of child well-being related to the pandemic. In the summer of 2020, the JIF team reviewed each of the 10 goal areas and assessed each metric for these two areas. The full report and 10 briefs for each goal area note what our analysis of these changes. This is just a starting point and our team will continue to engage with policymakers, early childhood professionals, families, and other stakeholders to better understand how the ECAP can reflect our state landscape and continue to guide policy and practice. Click here to access info sheets for all 10 areas.
Evidence into Action with Equity

The UNC Institute on Implementation Science aims to cultivate the skills and competencies needed to successfully and sustainably implement programs and practices that achieve equitable outcomes for children and families. Modeling adaptation to context (COVID-19) the Institute went virtual in 2020. In November, the team offered a free webinar on The Role of Context in Implementation of Evidence-Informed Programs and Practices. Click here for the recording. In December, the team hosted another webinar on New International Practice Guide to Supporting Implementation & The Critical Role of Relationships in Implementation Practice and Evidence Use. Click here to view a recording of Part 1 and here to view Part 2.
The free webinars have yielded high levels of engagement from implementation support practitioners, agency leaders, educators, and researchers representing a wide range of fields and work settings with over 700 registrants. Mark your calendar for a third webinar on January 28, 2021 - registration coming soon. The Institute continues to be a strong partnership between the National Implementation Research Network and the Jordan Institute for Families with a new partner - Kristine Andrews at Child Trends – joining the team this year.
Just Launched -, a new Spanish Postpartum Resource Hub for New Parents, the mom-written, reality-centered postpartum health resource that centers new families is now adapted and available in Spanish - Created by the 4th Trimester Project Team at UNC Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health and JIF, was linguistically and culturally adapted to meet the needs of Latinx women. Please share this resource with new parents and people who serve them! Here is a Communications Toolkit with messages, social graphics, videos, and more.
Improving Care for Youth with Special Needs

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is a North Carolina, state-funded effort to promote family and youth engagement in the treatment of youth at psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF). Supported and guided by the Behavioral Health Springboard in the School of Social Work, the Jordan Institute evaluation team (Lanier, Jensen, Bryant and 4 MSW students) has been collecting survey and interview data to assess family and youth engagement in sites that are piloting BBI principles. The evaluation team has also developed and implemented a new database system to monitor key treatment process and outcome indicators among youth at the pilot sites. Project findings and products are intended to inform state-level decision-making around the optimization of youth treatment at PRTFs across NC.
Our Commitment

The Jordan Institute for Families team is committed to being academic activists. We will speak up for racial equity and social justice and generate evidence about how to eliminate disparities most effectively. We will speak truth to those who seek to maintain unjust systems. We will use endowment funds to build a more diverse team to inform and lead our work. We will begin 2021 with a facilitated virtual listening tour with community leaders working in family well-being about the role we can play. We will prioritize projects that center racial equity and approaches that fully engage the people of focus. We will look to critical race theory and cultural humility to guide our work. We are committed to the ongoing and hard work of becoming an anti-racist Institute.
Join us for the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

Please join us for our first 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. We would like to thank Dr. Eddie Moore, who created the 21-Day Challenge, and the Washtenaw County United Way, whose Challenge we have used as a model and adapted to highlight racial inequity and our related policy priorities in our context.  
For 21 days, we invite you to do one action daily to deepen your understanding of power, privilege, oppression, and racial equity. Being committed to anti-racism work is about deep self-reflection, learning new things, and building new habits. Setting our intentions and adjusting what we spend our time doing is essential. The plan for the 21-Day Challenge is to provide our community with a daily, curated set of readings/podcasts/videos via email to deepen our understanding of racism and white supremacy and build our community together. We’ll be able to track our work with an individual tracking log, provide ideas for action, and engage with each other through discussion forums and even live, virtual meetings.
Participation is open to anyone. Our first challenge will begin on January 4th and wrap up on January 24th. We can’t think of a more important way to start 2021.
There is no cost to participate. Feel free to share with your friends and colleagues. Register here. If you have any questions, please email Allison De Marco at
Race, Racism and Racial Equity Series

In collaboration with the UNC Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the School of Social Work, JIF is co-hosting the Race, Racism, and Racial Equity (R3) virtual series. Our goals are to 1) highlight the work of UNC scholars to confront racism, 2) foster collaboration between scholars including faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students, and 3) make connections to the wider campus and community. The first event focused on “The Historical Exploitation of Black and Brown Bodies at UNC: Learning from the Past to Change the Present.” Watch the video here. The second event, “Cultural Industry, Techno-capitalism, and Labor: The Mediated Exploitation of Black and Brown Bodies,” featured scholars who shared their work addressing issues of language, representation, cultural appropriation, and decontextualization of Black and Brown labor as it appears through a variety of media. Watch the video here.
Home Visiting in North Carolina

The JIF team recently completed the 2020 North Carolina Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Needs Assessment. Led by Dr. Paul Lanier, the team examined existing home visiting programs and specific counties identified as at-risk through community assessments. This work was done to highlight gaps in services for at-risk populations and emphasize strengths in NC’s home visiting programs. We utilized the resources provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to guide the process. We also engaged public and private partners in the process.

Our primary strategy for soliciting feedback came from an engaged advisory group that convened regularly. The JIF team had regular meetings with the NC MIECHV team and relied heavily on their expertise for interpreting findings and engaging with local partners. Further, the NC Home Visiting Consortium, convened by the NC Division of Public Health, provided input and resources for this work. This report provides additional details about the county risk assessment, the inventory of home visiting programs in the state, and survey results regarding the quality and capacity of current home visiting programs. The results will support the NC Division of Public Health to identify target populations and select home visiting strategies that best meet state and local needs. The full Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program NC 2020 Statewide Needs Assessment is currently under review. Once approved, it will be available on our website. We developed three research briefs on specific topics reviewed during the process.
Community-Designed Approaches for EITC Uptake in Rural NC Update

Tax season is just around the corner. Check out the EITC video from our Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Project. Over 20% of eligible families don't claim this benefit. Please help share the word. To learn more about the project check out the video then click here. Thank you to our wonderful partners in this work for your creativity and resiliency in keeping the work moving this year!
Building on the Jordan legacy, we leverage evidence, policy, collaboration, innovation, and the wisdom of communities to work together to create the conditions where ALL families can thrive.