New Essentials For Childhood Strategic Focus Includes Family Forward NC Initiative

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) has announced a new strategic focus for North Carolina’s Essentials for Childhood initiative, including supporting NCECF’s Family Forward NC (FFNC) work. Starting in fall 2019, under the guidance of state child health and well-being experts, Essentials will focus on meeting two aims outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Changing social norms to prevent child maltreatment: North Carolina Essentials for Childhood is providing funding support to Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s (PCANC) awareness campaign, “Connections Matter.” Through a series of training modules, promotional strategies, and personal stories, PCANC’s “Connections Matter” initiative aims to emphasize the importance of family and community relationships in building resilience for children impacted by trauma and other adverse childhood experiences.
  • Strengthening economic supports for families: North Carolina Essentials for Childhood is providing funding support to partner organizations for ongoing work in the promotion and implementation of family friendly workplace policies:
    • The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Family Forward NC (FFNC) is an innovative initiative to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive. It’s business-led change to increase access to research-based family friendly practices that improve workplace productivity, recruitment and retention; grow a strong economy and support children’s healthy development. Through the FFNC initiative, the NC Early Childhood Foundation educates and engages employers about the value of providing family friendly workplace benefits and moves employers to action to add new family friendly benefits to their workplaces.
    • MomsRising’s ongoing work in building public awareness about the benefits of paid leave policies, and to increase community capacity for implementation at the local level. MomsRising will work over the grant period to engage community level stakeholders, provide technical assistance to local governments, and coordinate storytelling campaigns and media toolkits for community partners
    • NC Child will hold a statewide event on the importance of paid family leave, affordable early care and education, and closing the health insurance coverage gap for families. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about the importance of early brain development, the impact of disparities on families’ economic security, and the importance of investing in early childhood strategies and workplace policies to address economic issues.

In addition, NCIOM and the Division of Public Health continue to work across state agencies, with philanthropic partners, and with local organizations to promote strategies that meet the goals of Essentials for Childhood and create safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for North Carolina’s children and families.

Since 2013, the North Carolina Division of Public Health has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement a public health framework for child maltreatment prevention. From 2014-15, as a partner in this initiative, the NCIOM convened the Task Force on Essentials for Childhood and issued recommendations to statewide stakeholders in four areas, with the goal of ensuring safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments to strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. As backbone organization for the implementation of the 2015 recommendations, the NCIOM has, since 2016, convened a series of workgroups, coordinated aligned work across partners, and participated in several other statewide initiatives, ensuring that the Essentials for Childhood recommendations are included in new and ongoing work.