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Reducing Child Welfare Involvement: The Promise and Limitations of Early Intervention Deborah Daro.

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing Child Welfare Involvement: The Promise and Limitations of Early Intervention Deborah Daro."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing Child Welfare Involvement: The Promise and Limitations of Early Intervention Deborah Daro

2 Key concepts  Review key expectations regarding child well- being and well-becoming  Discuss the evolution of prevention policy and practice in targeting these outcomes  Examine the populations being served and service impacts of early intervention efforts  Highlight opportunities for enhancing impacts

3 Steps Toward Child “Well-Becoming”  Arriving at school ready to learn  Succeeding in school and achieving academic excellence  Being fully employed in line with one’s skills and competencies  Achieving economic stability and independence  Being socially well-adjusted and emotionally healthy

4 Earliest Well-Being Objectives  Being raised in familial and community environments that promote:  Safety  Stability  Nurturing  Appropriate stimulation and early learning opportunities  Avoid preventable injury and illness  Avoid being victims of child maltreatment and other forms of trauma

5 Evolution of CAN Prevention Framework Horizontal imageryVertical imagery Multiple age cohortsBirth to five Promotion of any promising program Emphasis on evidence-based programming Alter participantsAlter participants and context

6 Prevention’s Impact on Racial Disparities  Are children of color over represented among the caseloads of early intervention programs?  Are children of color more likely to benefit from early intervention efforts?  Does an emphasis on target prevention programs improve the odds of long term positive outcomes for all children and reduce racial disparities?

7 Who Uses Early Intervention Services? EHSHead StartNFPHFNYDurham Connects Whites33%35%34%44%34% African Americans 26%33%28%31%42% Hispanics25%23%30%21%23% Other7%8%4%

8 Early Head Start Impacts  Positive Trends  Decrease in aggressive behaviors  More positive approaches to learning  Enhanced parent support for language and literacy development  Concerns  Early modest gains in language and cognitive development fade over time

9 Head Start Impacts  Positive Trends  Children are fully immunized  Most attend enriched pre-K programs and full-day Kindergarten  Successfully screened for vision, dental and behavioral health  Receiving stable medical care  Concerns  Modest gains in language and cognitive development that fade over time

10 Early Home Visitation Impacts Initiated During Pregnancy/Birth  Better birth outcomes (if offered during pregnancy)  Enhanced parent-child interactions  Positive maternal life and health choices  More efficient use of health care and community services  Enhanced child development and early detection of developmental delays Toddlers  Early literacy skills  Social competence  Parent involvement in learning

11 Factors Influencing Outcomes  Programs that are fully operational and implemented with fidelity  Provision of multiple early learning opportunities offered sequentially  Attention to the diverse range of difficulties facing high risk families  Strongest gains among the most disadvantaged and, in some cases, African American children


13 Limits of the “Targeted/Scientific” Approach  Requires highly predictive and accurate risk assessment protocols or eligibility criteria  Assumes we can successfully identify all those at risk  Assumes highest risk families will engage and remained involved in voluntary interventions  Promotes the message collective or social assistance with parenting is required only for those unable to do the job on their own  Assumes if we just had the “right” program models and took them to scale, population-level impacts will follow

14 Prevention as Change Agent  Technical solutions to strengthening community capacity  Creating new programs and supportive services for all parents  Building partnerships among key stakeholders  Mobilizing residents to better support service expansion  Adaptive challenges to transforming communities  Achieving consistent service quality and access  Creating institutional incentives for sustaining collaboration  Creating a context of personal responsibility for child well- being  Altering the political process to embrace prevention

15 Grow Prevention Systems “ It is shocking that so many have chosen to focus on one year or two when the child was a preschooler and have disregarded the many subsequent years of development, exalted a single experience over myriad others, and are now putting their hopes and money on early childhood programs as the solution--not part of a solution -- to pervasive social problems.” Edward Zigler, 1993

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