Cradle to Community: A Focus on Community Safety and Healthy Child Development was a national partnership project of Prevention Institute and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With the UNITY City Network and Early Childhood LINC, the project identified strategic policy, practice, systems, and norms change levers to make communities safer so that all children have the opportunity to develop optimally. The project also identified policies and practices to strengthen early childhood development as a strategy to foster safer communities in the long-term. Activities included convenings, a learning lab, peer learning forums, technical assistance, and the development of briefs, fact sheets, and profiles to support practice. The 18 month planning grant laid the foundation for critical work at the intersection of healthy child development and community safety, all in service to a Culture of Health.
Overarching Project Report
Cradle to Community: A Focus on Community Safety and Health Child Development is the overarching report for the project that summarizes key components of the project, making the case for action and delineating opportunities for systems, policy, and practice change at the intersection of community safety and positive early child development.
Additional cradle to community briefs
The imperative of safety: How community safety supports optimal early childhood development: This fact sheet highlights the research on the impact of violence and safety on early childhood development, underscoring the importance of taking action to promote community safety in support of optimal early child development.
Minimizing the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences through a Focus on Adverse Community Experiences: This brief explains the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adverse community experiences, making the case and providing emerging strategies to address community trauma and build community resilience.
From a cycle of violence to a culture of safety: Leveraging connections to prevent multiple forms of violence: This draws on recent research and analysis about connections between child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and community violence and makes the case for an integrated movement for safety in our homes and communities.
Informing the Future of Safer Communities and Healthy Child Development: Proceedings from a Cradle to Community Convening: These proceedings synthesize key themes and directions for collaborative learning and action that emerged from the 2016 Cradle to Community convening – an event that brought together PI’s UNITY City Network and the CSSP’s Early Childhood Learning and Innovation Network for Communities (EC-LINC).
Multiplying Outcomes in Place-Based Initiatives: How Community Safety and Early Childhood Development Practitioners Can Collaborate with Community Development: This brief shares key findings and answers questions on what the community development sector does and how it relates to early childhood and violence prevention.
Supporting forgotten fathers: Changing systems, norms, and outcomes for young fathers in support of healthy child development and community safety: This brief includes immediate opportunities within the early childhood system and the criminal justice system, as well as other sectors, to embed a more intentional focus on supporting fathers.
Communities in Action: City Voices and Perspectives
First 5 Alameda County: Place-based Community Safety Approaches for Early Childhood Development
Understanding that there are underlying conditions that contribute to violence, poverty, and negative early childhood outcomes, First 5 Alameda County is using a strengths-based approach and a variety of partnerships to support communities that have faced the greatest disenfranchisement. The agency is focused on place-based approaches to strengthen families and community environments for both optimal child development and community safety.
Bridging Maternal & Child Health and Violence Prevention Strategies: How Baltimore Promotes Safety Across the Life Course
This profile describes how the city went from recognizing that preventing violence is fundamental to supporting child development and preventing future experiences of violence – and moved toward developing a unified strategy. By recognizing overlapping goals, building on areas of strength, braiding funding, and aligning comprehensive efforts, Baltimore City Health Department is attaining greater impact, stronger partnerships, more resources, better evaluation, and increased sustainability.
Working Cradle to Community in New Orleans: Advancing Integrated Solutions to Violence through Early Childhood Approaches
Recognizing positive early childhood development as an important component of a comprehensive violence prevention strategy, the New Orleans Health Department is working to bridge their community safety and early childhood efforts. The agency is focused on strengthening and aligning current work to support the development of positive parenting skills and strong family relationships, enhance supports for fathers, and promote breastfeeding as an important part of healthy parent-child bonding and early attachment. These efforts not only help to promote optimal child development, but also mitigate risk factors and enhance protective factors for multiple forms of violence.
What Does “Cradle to Community” Mean to You?
“It takes a village” to raise children to become contributing members of communities, and communities must be safe in order for children to thrive. Members of Prevention Institute’s UNITY City Network and the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Early Childhood LINC network reflect on the role we all play in nurturing children from Cradle to Community.
A Word from Our Funder: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Martha Davis discusses the importance of addressing early childhood development and community safety, as part of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s mission to achieve a Culture of Health.