READY Project

The READY (Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children) Project is a collaborative initiative focused on increasing the capacity in Durham’s early childhood system to promote positive social-emotional development for children ages birth-8. SAMHSA grant funds are spread across five local partnering organizations to expand early childhood mental health and social-emotional support services, provide workforce development activities, and strengthen collaborations in this community over the course of the five-year project. The funded partner agencies are joined by other key members of Durham’s early childhood system of care in ongoing planning and collaboration through READY’s Young Child Wellness Council (YCWC) and other efforts.

Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? Local
Lead Agency Center for Child & Family Health
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • We are analyzing the racial, ethnic and gender characteristics of child/family populations served through our funds and have set modest goals to reduce disparities in some particular areas of practice.
  • We are collecting and analyzing the demographic data of our professional trainees in hopes of supporting a workforce that reflects the demographics of our community
Community Voice
  • There are parent seats on our Young Child Wellness Council that are intended to center the voice of family members in decision making
  • READY collaborates intentionally with community partners that are led or strongly informed by families and community members, including the Grown in Durham Early Childhood Action Plan steering committee.      
  • Increased the professional capacity in our community to provide certain evidence-based two generation interventions
  • Created collaborative relationships with most of the child-serving systems and institutions in our community
  • Reached hundreds of providers with training designed to support children’s healthy social-emotional development. For example, the READY Project collaborated with the Durham CDSA to provide training on social-emotional screening, a practice that has now been incorporated into the agency’s routine practice so that all children receiving early intervention services are screened for social-emotional concerns and service coordinators are equipped to make appropriate referrals.
Next Steps
  • Develop public awareness tools /campaign related to early childhood development and mental health
  • Create more professional development opportunities for providers in our community to develop knowledge and skills related to supporting young children’s social emotional and mental health.
  • Collaborate to expand and improve data collection systems for social emotional screening in early childhood in our community.
Primary Partners
  • Child Care Services Association
  • Duke Center for Child & Family Policy 
  • Duke Children’s Primary Care
  • Exchange Family Center
  • Families Moving Forward
Primary Funders
  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) through the LAUNCH (Linking Action for Unmet Children’s Health) grant program
Contact Katharine Cannon

Active Counties