The EarlyWell Initiative

The EarlyWell Initiative is the continuation of the work from Pathways. The initiative exists to strengthen and enhance the early childhood mental health system across our state. The initiative will develop a comprehensive capacity development plan with details to implement action items, some may be those listed under Action 4, some may be new. Furthermore, a policy agenda will be developed from the capacity development plan over the coming years that prioritizes actions.   

Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? State
Counties All Counties
Lead Agency NC Child
Type of Lead Agency


Racial Equity LensCo
  • The Initiative has hired a racial equity consultant to ensure a racial equity framework is utilized throughout the process design.
  • The consultant is conducting a two-part training for the steering committee
  • The Initiative is using disaggregated data, and seeks to lift up lived experience through involving family voice.
Community Voice
  • The Initiative contracted with three family organizations in 2020 to obtain family voice through interviews and surveys.
  • In 2021, the Initiative will involve family members on 12 workgroups as well as contract with an agency to support the Initiative and families in the process.
  • There are people of color in both the leadership team and steering committee. Additionally, we ensured diverse representation in our workgroup facilitators as well as the makeup of the workgroups themselves.
  • In the first year, the Initiative created a depiction of the current system and a visionary system, developed buy-in from multiple stakeholders, and gathered everyone to the same table.
  • The impact over the next three years will be to continue striving in the same direction as a system, specifically advocating and operationalizing specific priorities to strengthen the early childhood mental health system.
Next Steps
  • Develop the NC Social-Emotional Health Capacity Development Plan
  • Develop the first NC Social-Emotional Policy Agenda
  • Continue to center race equity and family voice
Primary Partners
  • NC Early Childhood Foundation
  • Previous Assuring Better Childhood Health and Development Advisory Group
  • Smart Start
  • State Agencies: DPH, DHHS, DCDEE, DPI
  • Clinicians
Primary Funders
  • The Duke Endowment
  • The Alliance for Early Success
  • Invest Early NC
Contact Morgan Forrester Ray

Active Counties