May 3, 2017
Earlier this month, we launched our new public education campaign: Parenting Can Be Tough. The campaign is based on the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study done in the 1990s by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC which involved over 17,000 adults. ACEs are traumatic events that children experience such as abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence, and they are “the most important determinant of the health and well-being of our nation”.
As service providers and healthcare providers, we can make a big difference by sharing this message with parents.
Healthcare providers and others who work with families can help parents and caregivers see the “whole child”, including their social/emotional, relationship needs and the effects of trauma on child development. Parents need to learn about ACEs and trauma so that they can keep their children safe and help children heal from negative and traumatic experiences.
This new campaign is based on key messaging SCAN has found effective in our Operation Safe Babies program, which serves expecting and new parents in need. The conversation about ACEs should be happening as early as possible—particularly with parents of infants. Providing materials that focus on safe sleep and abusive head trauma are strong ways to help equip healthcare providers to initiate conversations with parents around positive parenting practices.
New materials will be added to the campaign during each of the next four years to align with key themes in child development covering infants, toddlers, school-aged children and tween/teen years. Our messaging—as well as materials—will evolve over those four years. There are materials that will be free for our Allies in Prevention members to use with their clients and communities to begin this discussion with families, but there will also be materials available at a minimal cost to serve the needs of healthcare providers and their patients.
At the end of four years, our goals are to:
- Normalize parenting struggles
- Provide continued support to parents in multiple forms
- Educate our communities about ACEs and trauma
- Disseminate tools that equip providers in supporting the parents they work with to create resilient children and families
We hope you will explore the Year 1 resources here, and spread the word about this exciting new campaign in your communities!