High quality early interventions lower the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and show a return on investment of 6:1.
Key strategies include:
Total economic lifetime benefits include:
These are conservative estimates that primarily focus on the quantifiable ECONOMIC return on investment and don’t take into account the opportunity and psychological costs of remedial education, toxic stress, etc.
Ensuring that our community’s children have high-quality teachers and schools is absolutely critical to student success. However, children are not just products of their schools, but also of their families and communities.
We know that children from impoverished backgrounds are at risk for poor school performance. From early childhood through adolescence, this performance gap only grows wider as children progress through school. Teachers and schools are left battling the headwinds of poor out-of-school developmental and educational support for their students as this performance gap continually widens. Children from poverty often do not have the same family or community support that many middle-income children have.
Therefore, policies to improve educational (as well as health) outcomes must also address family and community factors. High quality pre-kindergarten is vitally important for young children, especially those from at-risk backgrounds. However, when high quality pre-kindergarten is combined with strong home and community “wrap-around” services, the benefits are only magnified. Organizations that advocate for a holistic civic infrastructure that supports children from cradle-to-career understand how important family and community are to children’s success in school, career, and life.
Research shows us that success builds upon success. However, we can’t expect schools to “go it alone.” To foster success among our children, we must hold ourselves, our families, and our communities as accountable as we hold our teachers and schools.
In 2013, the Delta Health Alliance Parents as Teachers (PAT) program assisted 91 Leflore County families in great need. This program sends a trained parent educator to each participating family’s home each month to offer support and assistance to new mothers and their infants and young children. In the past year, parent educators completed 1,112 personal visits.
An Evaluation by Memphis Data Partners.
Of the most common team-based planning models (Child Welfare: Family Group Decision Making; Juvenile Justice: Restorative Justice Teams; Developmental Disabilities: Person Centered Planning; Education: Positive Behavioral Support Teams; Spirit and Healing Circles; and Integrated Systems: Wraparound), the Wraparound process is the most developed and the most researched. It shows that children and youth can be served within their communities, in their family homes, and in a manner that respects the dignity and importance of the family.
Since the ACE study (1995-97), a joint project between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, research has shown that childhood trauma damages a child’s brain, impairing its development and function. These adverse childhood experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, as well as poor quality of life.
The ACE Study looked at ten different kinds of childhood trauma, in three different categories:
The more ACEs scored, the higher the chances for social and health problems, both short- and long-term.
As a result of the findings of this study, individuals and organizations, including schools, medical practices, and hospitals, as well as entire communities have been putting ACE/Trauma-informed practices in place. They have realized that the nation’s worst health and social problems may benefit from understanding that these problems could well be consequences of ACEs. Their efforts are geared to building resilience to counteract ACEs and strengthen families.
Shelby County Schools has adopted public health’s multi-tiered model of intervention for achieving more positive outcomes for higher-risk children.
• Primary prevention is designed to keep problems from emerging.
• Secondary prevention is designed to stop and reverse the slide toward negative outcomes.
• Meanwhile, tertiary prevention approaches are focused on young people who need the most serious and immediate intervention.
The most vulnerable students in Shelby County are concentrated within alternative schools.
Literacy is context specific.
Literacy is necessary for college and career readiness and success.
Many Shelby County Schools (SCS) students are not college ready in reading.
Low-income youth are less likely to be proficient in reading.
Some groups of low-income students are doing much better than others.
Young adults’ literacy levels reflect early learning, school environments, and family and community factors.
Stronger, individual-level measures of literacy level need to be part of any literacy intervention.
All test scores improve after one year for Pre-K.
Children with multiple family risk factors show the greatest improvement in scores after one year of Pre-K.