Essentials for Childhood Project
Colorado is one of five states to be awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the five-year Essentials for Childhood project. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment serves as the backbone organization of this project to coordinate cross-sector groups, guide vision and strategy, and support aligned activities. At the end of the project period, each awarded state will serve as a case study to inform national standards.
Child maltreatment (CM) is a significant public health problem in Colorado with long term effects on physical and mental health. Children who experience adverse events, such as child abuse and neglect, are more likely to develop health problems such depression, substance abuse, obesity and chronic diseases later in life.1
By targeting home, school, and workplace environments, Essentials for Childhood promotes the types of relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens who can then build stronger and safer communities for the next generation. This initiative is groundbreaking because it facilitates a structured process for partners outside of public health to align efforts, and identifies community and society-level strategies, including policy and norms change.
- Essentials for Childhood promotes the types of relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens so that they can then build stronger and safer families and communities for their children.
- Essentials for Childhood is intended for anyone committed to the positive development of children and families, specifically to the prevention of all forms of child abuse and neglect.
- Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments (SSNR&Es) are essential to preventing child maltreatment and to ensuring children reach their full potential.
- CDC recommends the following four goals to promote SSNR&Es:
- Raise awareness and commitment across many partners
- Use data to inform actions
- Increase healthy children and families through norms change and programs
- Increase healthy children and families through policies
Essentials for Childhood Project Overview
Video: Essentials for Childhood 101
1. Felitti, VJ, Anda, RF, Nordenberg, D, et al. (1998) The relationship of adult health status to childhood abuse & household dysfunction. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4): 245-58.
Collective Impact Team
The collective impact team is in the process of forming! This team will bring diverse perspectives by participating in a strategic planning process. At the end of the strategic planning process, priority areas will have been determined for Colorado, and top strategies will be implemented in years 2-4 of the project. Members of the collective impact team will take the ideas back to their communities, agencies, and disciplines to gain buy-in at a local level.
Instead of asking, "why?" do you tend to ask "why not?!" We're looking for solution-focused people who innovate, influence, and break down silos across sectors, including health, business, education, family, faith-based, and policy professionals, for our collective impact team. The team will cross disciplines, communities and cultures to work toward a common goal and drive change, and will use a structured process - a collective impact framework – to develop and implement strategies to promote healthy families and relationships.
You or someone you know could be part of this Colorado team to inform national practice! Interested in joining, or know someone who is? Complete the member interest form. Please note that a limited number of spaces are available. Selected individuals will be notified in spring 2014. For more information about the type of person who is a good fit for the collective impact team, please see the document below.
The Essentials for Childhood project launched its work on February 28 at an event titled “Peaks to Plains and Bodies to Brains: Making Colorado a place where children thrive.”
Essentials for Childhood Kickoff Event Kickoff Event Materials.
Essentials for Childhood Kickoff Event webinar to learn more making Colorado a place where children thrive. You can also access all of the Kickoff Event Materials. You can view all speakers' presentations below:
Child abuse and neglect can be prevented. Primary prevention efforts such as Essentials for Childhood:
- Aim to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs.
- Target the general population, because child maltreatment occurs across ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
- Acknowledge that child maltreatment prevention requires multiple sectors of the community to working together.
- Understands that preventing child maltreatment is more than a family problem – it’s everyone’s problem.
Using a Collective Impact framework, the focus of this project is to promote safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments. We will:
- Increase strategic collaborations between traditional and non-traditional partners.
- Identify, coordinate, and report on strategies across sectors.
- Increase awareness, community norms, programs, and policies around safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments.
- Establish state-level impact of the Collective Impact Team and its strategies.
What is Collective Impact?
- Collective Impact is a framework wherein organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is the backbone organization for this project
- Collective Impact initiatives share five conditions: a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and a backbone organization.
The leadership action team is the decision-making body of the project, and provides overall leadership and guidance throughout the grant period. Below is a list of leadership action team member agencies/organizations, as well as a short description of each agency/organization.
• Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, The Colorado Maternal Wellness team and Early Childhood Initiatives
Initiatives are focused on improving maternal wellness before, during and after pregnancy, with a current emphasis on pregnancy-related depression and maternal mortality. In the early childhood realm, CDPHE provides support to the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant focused on mitigating toxic stress in infants and toddlers in Colorado and collaborates with Colorado's Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) project to improve early childhood developmental outcomes.
• Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Children’s Trust Fund and Colorado’s Family Resource Centers program
The Colorado Children’s Trust Fund and Family Resource Centers programs at CDHS endeavor to prevent child maltreatment through the support of local, community-based partners who work directly with individuals to strengthen families and increase protective factors.
• Prevent Child Abuse Colorado (PCA Colorado)
Prevent Child Abuse Colorado works to educate, connect, and mobilize Colorado communities and families so Colorado’s children can grow and develop free from abuse and neglect. The programs focus on 1) increasing public awareness of effective prevention strategies; 2) educating legislators on the impact that policies and programs have on families; and 3) providing support to professionals and community leaders to increase their capacity to prevent child maltreatment. Prevent Child Abuse Colorado is a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America.
• Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention
The Office of Suicide Prevention serves as the lead entity for suicide prevention and intervention efforts in Colorado, collaborating with communities statewide to reduce the number of suicide deaths and attempts in Colorado.
• Pediatric Injury Prevention Education and Research (PIPER)
The PIPER program is a collaborative initiative of the Colorado School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. PIPER links research, training and practice to prevent child injury in Colorado, nationally and around the world.
• The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Hospital Colorado
The Kempe Center is part of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. It provides and improves direct clinical services, improves clinical service delivery systems, and provides training, education and consultation programs to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect in Colorado and throughout the nation.
• Children’s Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), Children’s Hospital Colorado
CHAI’s mission is to positively impact the health and safety of children by working with the public and our community partners. By bringing people together and leading the way in child health and safety, CHAI builds programs to make the best possible community for kids.
• Steele Street Bank and Trust
Steele Street Bank and Trust serves Denver and the front range of Colorado and serves as another business sector representative. Steele Street Bank & Trust sees banking not just as a business, but also as an investment in the future of its community.
Felitti, VJ, Anda, RF, Nordenberg, D, et al. (1998) The relationship of adult health status to childhood abuse & household dysfunction. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4): 245-58.
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2011). Child Maltreatment 2010: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System: Table 2-1: Screened-In and Screened-Out Referrals, 2010. Retrieved on June 14, 2013 from www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/index.htm
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2008). Child Maltreatment 2006: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System: Table 3-4: Victimization Rates, 2002-2006. Retrieved on June 14, 2013 from www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm06/index.htm
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2011). Child Maltreatment 2010: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System: Table 3-6: Child Victims, 2010. Retrieved on June 14, 2013 from www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/index.htm