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Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change

Stacey Leakey, PhD, IMH-E® (IV) | Infant Mental Health Community Consultant

This video speaks to our approach in every program at PCCT.  Addressing the issue of child abuse & neglect requires that we work smarter.  The smartest thing we can do is place our investment of time, energy, and resources in the family, and meet their specific needs with interventions tailored to their unique experiences.  We are working in a time that calls for the blending of disciplines (medicine, mental health, neuroscience, early childhood education, law) to integrate the knowledge we have about what works for families.  When a family has been without a healthy map for surviving and thriving, it takes more than telling them what to do.  It takes SHOWING them what to do, and engaging them in relationships of learning.  If we want to build healthy, cooperative, collaborative families, we have to have healthy, cooperative, collaborative systems to support them.

This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children’s lifelong learning, health, and behavior.

Launched in May 2011, Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) focuses on the work of a community of more than 400 researchers, practitioners, policymakers, philanthropists, and experts in systems change from across North America. The goal of FOI is to bring about substantially greater positive impacts for vulnerable young children whose needs (or the needs of their caregivers) are not being fully met by existing policies and programs. To do that, FOI seeks to spur the field by forging cross-sector collaborations that prompt creativity, support experimentation, and learn from experience.

Learn more about Frontiers of Innovation:

Content from Center on the Developing Child: Harvard University

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