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The 100% Community Initiative Prevents Childhood Trauma We support local leaders and stakeholders in a process of assessment, planning, action and ongoing evaluation – all focused on achieving measurable and meaningful results for families.
It’s been twenty years since the public was introduced to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through the ACEs Study in 1998. We learned that our children may endure a variety of adverse experiences including physical, emotional and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; and living in households where parents are misusing substances, are engaged in domestic violence, and have mental health challenges. Most ACEs fly under the radar of child welfare and our schools. ACEs can impact our emotional and physical health, as well as our capacity to learn.
We are launching a new strategy to prevent adverse childhood experiences. It’s called 100% Community. But before we guide you through the process of 100% Community, we wish to reinforce why a data-driven, cross-sector and county-focused approach to ACEs prevention is urgently needed.
- lead to substance misuse impacting school, work and family life
- lead to costly negative medical and emotional health consequences
- negatively impact achievement in school and higher education
- diminish work productivity and the workplace environment
- overwhelm the child welfare, law enforcement and judicial systems
The financial costs associated with ACEs are significant in the public and private sectors. The Anna, Age Eight Institute provides the skills and resources to implement a data-driven and cross-sector prevention strategy customized for each county.
If we ensure that all our families have access to ten vital services, we will increase self-sufficient and healthy family households, educational achievement and job readiness.
The cost-benefits of prevention
The positive economic impact of addressing ACEs by creating family-focused and child centered communities is one the Institute will pursue.
Each county in New Mexico is positioned to implement a data-driven, cross-sector and systemic strategy in order to prevent ACEs and childhood trauma – along with the high rates of substance misuse, poor school performance, unsafe families, and lack of economic stability that accompany it.
If we ensure that all our families have access to five survival services and five services that support thriving, we will decrease ACEs, trauma, substance misuse, violence, school dropout rates and underachievement; we will increase self-sufficient family households, higher educational achievement, job readiness, and healthy residents of all ages.
We’re collaborative and working in alignment with all local programs
The 100% Community initiative is designed to bring all county leaders and stakeholders together, in ten key family serving sectors we refer to as survival services and thriving services shown to strengthen families:
Early Childhood Learning
By working on a county scale with buy-in from local elected leadership and stakeholders, a locality can achieve groundbreaking results, reducing ACEs and trauma while raising the quality of family, community, educational and economic life for all residents.
10 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL COUNTY PROJECT
Step 1: Creating the Core Team
The Anna, Age Eight Institute staff meet with a core team of local county champions who wish to serve as the foundation for 100% Community initiative. Ideally, these people represent the ten key sectors, along with leadership from higher education and child welfare.
We work with this local team using the collective impact model that promotes:
- A Common Agenda
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous Communication
- Shared Measurement
- Backbone Support
People say, “Trauma is such a complicated problem. How can we solve it?” We answer, “It’s radically simple. We work to ensure that 100% of families have access to ten vital services. Our slogan is 10@100%.
– Anna, Age Eight authors, Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello
Step 2: Sponsoring Community Forums and Great Conversations
We support the local team in sponsoring community forums across their respective counties in order to gather feedback from those working in the ten sectors listed below (learn more about our solutions in all ten sectors) and the county’s youth and adult populations.
Early Childhood Learning
We also support all residents in understanding the challenges of ACEs by reading Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment (free to download).
Local 100% Community staff carefully listen to all comments, concerns, suggestions and ideas. This feedback is compiled into a report detailing the wide range of perspectives on ACEs prevention and treatment, as well as the role of the public and private sector in confronting the epidemic of childhood and family trauma. The more dialogue that can take place across the county, the more informed program staff will be about the change that the 100% Community program can represent.
We acknowledge with patience and respect that changes like those we are working to bring to a community may be difficult. A sense of loss is often associated with successful health initiatives that reshape a community landscape. Our goal is to address these concerns directly with a sense of care and delicacy so that all members come to embrace a future for our children free from abuse and adversity and see the role they can play in bringing that future to their community.
Step 3: Convening Leaders in Ten Sectors
Local program leaders convene a meeting of agency leaders from all ten sectors to assess their interest in 100% Community and their capacity to devote time to it by taking the 100% Community Course. Program leaders meet monthly to develop their in-agency or collective projects on an action team. The goal of the action teams is to strengthen services so that 100% of residents have access to them in a timely manner. Forum participants are asked to share names of leaders and stakeholders who should be invited to a follow-up forum.
Step 4: Inviting More Community Partners to Ensure Alignment
In the next forum, local program leaders share the plans for moving forward and ask participants how best to work in alignment with existing county and city efforts to strengthen ten sectors. Program leaders create a list of all current family-focused initiatives to capture any program-related innovations currently in development or implementation.
Step 5: Convening Monthly and Taking the 100% Community Course
Community members interested in participating in action teams enroll in the 100% Community course with lessons, guided by the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello. Upon graduating from the course, team members will have successfully developed a shared understanding of the initiative’s vision, goals, interconnected activities, use of data, communication strategies and evaluation process.
Step 6: Conducting the 100% Community Assessment
This countywide Resilient Community Experience Survey assesses to what degree local parents and youth have access to the ten key service areas/programs. Data from this survey will identify gaps in services in specific geographic areas of the county, including the reasons as to why residents may have trouble accessing services. The survey results provide the 100% Community program and community partners with focus areas for projects, while simultaneously providing a way for local communities to measure progress yearly.
Step 7: Sponsor a Town Hall to Share Survey Results
Local program leaders and action team members invite all county leaders, stakeholders and the public to an event to share the findings of the survey. The findings detail where gaps in the ten service areas exist and why residents reported they had challenges accessing them. Leaders from all ten sectors then provide updates on their current work in order to address gaps and offer opportunities for residents to work in alignment with the efforts of city, county, school board government, along with non-profit agency, child welfare, higher education and the business sector.
Step 8: Action Team Members Focus Projects on Gaps in Services
The program leadership and action team members then analyze the survey results in order to prioritize which gaps to address first and in which communities. Action teams conduct focus groups and informational interviews with leaders and residents in order to gain an understanding of why gaps exist and how best to address them. Action teams begin to develop projects using the four-step continuous quality improvement framework: assess, plan, act and evaluate.
Step 9: Implement and Support all 100% Community Projects
Program leadership support the 100% Community projects designed by course graduates, who are now action team members. These will be projects in all ten sectors with various timelines, from a few months to years. While projects unfold, program leadership and action team members continue to build relationships, developing a common language to describe data-driven ACEs prevention and treatment with county elected leaders, stakeholders in each of the ten sectors, higher education and child welfare.
Step 10: Sponsor a year end Summit
Local program leaders and action team members invite all county leaders, stakeholders and the public to an event to share the findings of the survey, detailing how 100% Community projects are addressing needs, reducing gaps in services, and other accomplishments. This event provides an opportunity for community dialogue, brainstorming and reflection as the project gets ready for year two.
A CUSTOMIZABLE PROCESS
The process detailed above can be customized to meet the unique needs and capacity of county residents.
Please contact us to learn more about the 100% Community initiative.