Statement of purpose Early and continuous exposure to adversity, including child maltreatment, has a direct impact on lifelong health. Community conditions affect child development and influence the chances for a healthy future. Creating healthy conditions for families and communities is critical if all children are to achieve their full health potential. The Raising of America initiative is creating a national conversation about early childhood and its connection to health across the life-course.
Methods/Approach This session will introduce the Raising of America project by having participants view the 60-minute documentary and share information on a partnership among the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), Healthy Heartlands Collaborative (HHC), and CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) to promote the use of Raising of America by public health organisations in order to improve health and safety for all children. California Newsreel and Vital Pictures has created this new documentary series and associated online tools.
Results NACCHO, AMCHP, HHC, and DVP have formed a strategic partnership to identify and leverage opportunities to disseminate and use Raising of America resources to build local, state and national partnerships to raise awareness and inform policy to improve conditions for health and safety for all children. Activities to date include multiple webinars including participants across all organisations; the development of resources for use by partners; and, expanded collaborations with other national, state, and local agencies and organisations.
Conclusions Public Health and its partners, informed by scientific evidence, can help build a society that values and invests in our children. Indeed, a strong start for all our kids leads not only to better individual life course outcomes (learning, earning and physical and mental health) but also to a healthier, safer, better educated and more prosperous and equitable America” (California Newsreel, 2012).
Significance and contribution to the field Public Health has an important role to play in educating the general public, stakeholders and decision makers on the importance of early childhood as a critical lever to ensure health across the lifespan. Following this session, participants will be able to use Raising of America resources to increase awareness of the impact of early adversity on brain development and strategies to promote safe, stable nurturing relationships and environments that support child health and development. These resources are especially useful with community leaders, policy-makers, and other audiences not familiar with the evidence base on early adversity and health across the life course.
California Newsreel – THE RAISING OF AMERICA. (2012, January 1). Retrieved April 2, 2015, from http://newsreel.org/video/THE-RAISING-OF-AMERICA
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