A recent report on 60 minutes discussed the impact of childhood trauma and ways in which communities are working to combat toxic stress. The research shows that early interactions and positive experiences with caregivers help to shape a young child’s brain, which provides a strong foundation and increases positive long term outcomes. However, frequent and/or prolonged severe stress such as poverty, abuse, and neglect can become toxic to a child’s development. Positive relationships with caregivers and supportive communities help young children build resilience to achieve their full potential.
Across Colorado, Early Childhood Councils work with community partners to help young children and their families access resources to support healthy social-emotional development and positive, supportive relationships. LAUNCH Together, a privately-funded initiative was inspired by the experiences and outcomes of the federally-funded Project LAUNCH. This initiative is led by Early Milestones Colorado and implemented locally among Early Childhood Councils and their community partners. LAUNCH Together aims to advance children’s social-emotional health and lay a foundation for overall health, well-being, and success for life.
One example of local implementation comes from Denver’s Early Childhood Council where a network has formed across Southwest Denver to implement trauma-informed practices among organizations and their interactions with children and families. Trauma-informed practices provide a framework to help understand, recognize and respond to trauma.