January 2017 | ISSUE 28
This Early Childhood-LINC newsletter connects communities across the country as they build and strengthen systems to help children and families thrive. Click the box below and enter your email address in the Stay Informed box to sign up. 

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Engaging Families in Early Childhood Systems Change: Toolkit and Webinar
In December, CSSP shared a new toolkit , Ripples of Transformation: Families Leading Change in Early Childhood Systems . Commissioned by First 5 Alameda through a " research to action " grant from CSSP, the toolkit describes a continuum of parent engagement and leadership, from first teacher to policy advocate.
In a webinar last week, early childhood leaders from California, Florida and Massachusetts presented the toolkit and shared local strategies and lessons learned in engaging parents as leaders. If you missed the webinar,  listen to the recording now or share it with colleagues who missed it.

Digital Dialogue: A Structured Approach to State Prevention Planning

The Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, through the Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center ( CANTASD), has partnered with Chapin Hall to develop a framework to support prevention planning efforts at the state and local levels.

Join a 30-minute Digital Dialogue on Thursday, January 26, 2-2:30 p.m EST, to learn more about the approach and the experience in two pilot states: C olorado and South Carolina. For more information, email hello@cantasd.org or visit www.cantasd.org.

Connecticut Highlights Working Across Agencies for Systems Change

The Office for Community Child Health (OCCH) at Connecticut Children's Medical Center has long known that many factors influence healthy child development. To help conceptualize the complexity of the systems under-girding early childhood, OCCH recently shared an update to their "flower" diagram. Each petal represents a crucial area affecting children. The petals join together and ideally blossom into children's optimal healthy development.

The diagram illustrates the overlapping, entwined layers supporting child development, and it also helps make the case for collaboration across layers. "We are continually emphasizing the importance of different agencies working together, blending administrative and financial resources to achieve common goals," says Paul Dworkin, MD, executive vice president for community child health at Connecticut Children's. Read more.
Lamoille Family Center Promotes Parental Self-Care

Parental resilience is protective factor  in strengthening families and mitigating toxic stress for children, both of which support healthy child development. But how do communities foster parental resilience?

Lamoille Family Center is addressing the topic head on. This month, the center is offering a free  Self-Care for Parents workshop to help parents commit to their well-being in the new year. The interactive workshop will explore the benefits of self-care so that parents may better attend to the needs of their children and strengthen their families.

"Parental self-care is at the center of building parental resilience. Our workshop will emphasize self-care as a strategy to support parents," says Scott Johnson, Executive Director of Lamoille Family Center of Lamoille Valley, Vermont. The workshop, facilitated by Program Manager Daniela Caserta, stems from the Strengthening Families Curriculum, a resource from CSSP for training professionals in the protective factors approach. Specifically, the workshop plan evolved from module 2 of the 8-module curriculum, highlighting strategies that can help parents build their resilience.

Lamoille Family Center will use the curriculum as a continuation of their training around the protective factors approach - a strengths-based approach to promoting the well-being of children and their families that emphasizes five family characteristics that all families need to thrive. Lamoille Family Center hopes that this workshop will support parents as they help their children grow and develop. 
Case Studies on Innovative Approaches to Using Evidence
Asthma Improvement Collaborative
CSSP released two case studies in late 2016 about powerful approaches to evidence being taken by initiatives currently engaged in efforts to improve outcomes among disadvantaged children, families, youth and neighborhoods. The first is a case study of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), which is both a non-profit agency and a strategy across more than 40 organizational partners and schools that works to close the achievement gap and end multigenerational poverty in north Minneapolis, by using education as a lever. The second case study details how the Asthma Improvement Collaborative at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, an initiative aimed at improving the health of children with asthma in Hamilton County, Ohio, uses and generates evidence in order to achieve its goals.

Leveraging Resources to Reach Common Goals

   Common Message
Consistent Messaging to Advance Early Childhood

   Colorado's Early Childhood Shared Message Bank provides messaging for early childhood stakeholders to use across the state in order to speak from a collective voice, engage more audiences and mobilize action to address early adversity and toxic stress in children.

Shared Data
Pooling Data to Tell the Whole Story 
Vermont Insights is a new online interactive site that allows users to find and use data to understand the well-being of Vermont's children, families and communities. Data is vetted from trusted sources, analyzed and organized in one platform.
    • For system builders: This article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers four steps non-profit organizations can take to build organizational resilience during a turbulent political era.
    • For parents: The Fatherhood Program Locator helps individuals search and find nearby father-focused programs and resources.
    • For providers:  A family engagement blog  from Harvard Family Research Project shares an example of how providers can include and maximize parent input in designing family resources.
    • For researchers: "Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity ," a new research report from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, identifies promising strategies for communities to achieve health equity, as well as key levers, policies, stakeholders and other elements needed to be successful.
    • For funders:  "Pay-What-It-Takes"funding was the subject of one of the most popular Stanford Social Innovation and Research articles in 2016. The article considers this new grantmaking approach that provides enough money for nonprofits to pay for all their operations, not just for programs and services. 
    • For racial-equity-focused system builders: The winter 2017 issue of Nonprofit Quarterly explores "Collaborating for Equity and Justice,  a new set of six principles designed to facilitate successful cross-sector collaboration for social change in a way that explicitly lifts up equity and justice for all and creates measurable change.
    • For policy makers: To promote better understanding of the needs of all families with young children, the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy released a series of 30 fact sheets that provide analysis of key sociodemographic characteristics of native- and foreign-born parents of young children in states with the largest number of immigrant families.
Early Childhood-LINC is a learning and innovation network developed by and for communities.  Our mission is to support families and improve results for young children in communities across the country with a focus on accelerating the development of effective, integrated, local early childhood systems.  We are currently made up of 10 member communities across the country.