Building Brighter Childhoods
Strong economies and communities where our children thrive are built when we harness the power of government, business and philanthropy and the nonprofit sectors to effectively strengthen families together.
Our children are our future employees, leaders and neighbors. No matter where they live, children need high-quality experiences and loving relationships to support healthy development.
Everyone in the community needs to get involved to prevent child maltreatment.
Just like a plant is more likely to thrive in a garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight and water, families are more likely to thrive in nurturing communities.
Our health today is determined in part by the access to social and economic opportunities we had growing up.
The resources, relationships and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods and communities explain in part why some Coloradans are healthier than others.
This also likely explains why some of our neighbors are not as healthy as they could be.
It’s important to know how our brains are built to know where to begin to make a difference strengthening families and the communities around us.
Brains are built from the bottom up.
More than one million new brain connections form every second from belly to age eight and this continues into adulthood!
The interaction of genes and experiences shapes our brain and relationships are the active ingredient in this serve and return process.
It’s because of this that the experiences and relationships young children have in the early years can impact them for life.
Lifetime Costs Of Child Maltreatment in America (1)
The effects of childhood trauma add up over time and impact our health and life outcomes.
This toxic stress can lead to health and learning problems preventing children from realizing their potential and fully contributing to Colorado’s future and our economic prosperity.
- The more types of adversities you experience, the higher your risk of experiencing poor health outcomes, like depression, overweight/obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
- Also, you are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking, heavy drinking, substance misuse and more likely to experience poor socioeconomic outcomes, such as unemployment.
Research shows when children experience prolonged and significant adverse childhood experiences such as poverty, abuse, or neglect without adequate adult support to buffer their experiences, it becomes toxic and impacts their brain architecture.
Research has also shown that promotive and protective factors have the power to prevent and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.
When we work upstream and downstream to strengthen families by increasing positive experiences for all families, we prevent child maltreatment and build brighter childhoods.
Fang, X., Brown, D. S., Florence, C. S., & Mercy, J. A. (2012). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 156–165.
The COVID-19 public health crisis reminds us all just how connected we all are – and how much we depend on one another.
In this unprecedented and ever-changing time, one thing is certain to ensure that our children, families and communities thrive during the COVID-19 public health crisis and recover from the economic impact as quickly as possible, we must all do our part to strengthen every household and community in Colorado right now.
Share Your Experience
Join us by sharing your lived experiences with policymakers or contributing your story to the narrative in Colorado promote positive community norms that strengthen families.
Communities have a huge influence in families’ lives. Look for ways to promote protective factors in your community and put prevention in action with the children and families in your life.
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