Parents are their child’s first and most important teachers. For families facing challenges like poverty, poor health, mental illness or unstable housing, it can be a struggle to create a nurturing environment. Neuroscience shows that young children absorb parent stress and when it reaches toxic levels can affect brain development. That is why the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) is making Strong Families a priority. Our efforts are focused on expanding the tools available to identify at-risk families, as well as access to the services and ongoing support families need to create a safe, healthy home for their child.
ECAC Desired Outcomes:
The following desired outcomes guide the ECAC’s work on Strong Families:
- Inclusion: Families are recognized and respected in the broadest possible terms, including heterosexual and same sex couples; single-parent families; extended patterns of kinship, step-families and blended families; couples with and without children.
- Environment: Families provide children with safe and healthy environments free from abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.
- Relationships: Families provide children with positive, nurturing, consistent relationships.
- Adequate, stable employment: Families have adequate and stable employment and income so that their basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing) are met.
- Information: Families have the knowledge, skills, confidence, and social support to nurture the health, safety, and positive development of children, including those with delays or disabilities.
- Special Needs: Parents with physical, mental health, addiction or other challenges receive the support they need to care for their children.
- Support Services: Families are empowered to seek, use, and actively participate in supportive services.
Supporting Strong Families:
The ECAC is working to support strong families through the