Essentials for Childhood

Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem; however, it is a preventable one. Children must have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments to reach their full potential. When communities promote relationships and environments that help children grow up healthy and ready for success we all benefit through reduced medical and juvenile and adult justice costs and increased productivity and responsible citizenship.

The Essentials for Childhood Framework was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Injury Prevention & Control: Division of Violence Prevention and promotes strategies for communities to enhance relationships and environments that help children grow up to become healthy, productive citizens.

The framework has four goal areas:

  1. Raise awareness and commitment to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and prevent child maltreatment
  2. Use data to inform actions
  3. Create the context for healthy children and families through norms change and programs
  4. Create the context for healthy children and families through policies

When partners, traditional and nontraditional, move collectively towards these common goals, the foundation for safe, stable, nurturing relationships is built.

State Implementation of the Essentials for Childhood Framework

North Carolina is one of five states funded through the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention to use a collective impact process to implement the Essentials for Childhood Framework. The other states are: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington.

Specifically, these state health departments:

  • Coordinate and manage existing and new partnerships with other child abuse and neglect prevention organizations and non-traditional partners
  • Work with partners to identify and align strategies across sectors
  • Identify, coordinate, monitor and report on the strategies implemented by multi-sector partners
  • Document state-level impact of these efforts

In addition, the CDC offers technical assistance and training to many other states that do not receive CDC funding but are engaged at varying levels in implementing the Framework.

For more information

Task Force on Essentials for Childhood: Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships and Environments to Prevent Child Maltreatment (2015)

CDC: Essentials for Childhood Framework: Steps to Create Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments for All Children

To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s work with the Essentials for Childhood Project, contact Suzanne Metcalf, Policy and Prevention Systems Manager at 919-829-8009.

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