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.
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.