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Accomplishing Great Things Together: a Cross-State Synthesis of Essentials for Childhood Grantees’ Efforts to Prevent Child Maltreatment

Abstract

The purpose of CDC’s Essentials for Childhood (EfC) initiative was to assure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments and prevent child maltreatment. SciMetrika supported the evaluation of this initiative by collecting, tracking, analyzing, and reporting data on Essentials for Childhood grantees’ efforts to implement the four primary goals of CDC’s Essentials for Childhood Framework using a collective impact approach. In this article, we report quantitative and qualitative findings from our analysis of data sources collected from funded states over the five-year period. Further, we describe key successes and barriers to implementing the EfC framework at the state level using the collective impact model. These lessons learned can be applied to other state-level initiatives looking to implement a public health framework to address a complex social issue.

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Correspondence to Yvonne Wasilewski.

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This work has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Contract No. 200-2014-F-60746). The authors have no relevant financial relationships interest or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Appendix: Collective Impact Assessment Tool

Appendix: Collective Impact Assessment Tool

Progress in the collective impact process to assure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for ALL children (Essentials for Childhood) Date:

Please rate on a scale of 0–10; if the process in your state hasn’t reached that step, please report “NA”.

Indicator Non-existent or very weak = 0 Strong = 10 Score Main reasons for this score
Backbone capacity Staff, knowledge, skills, or resources are insufficient to facilitate the process Staff, knowledge, skills, and resources, are sufficient to facilitate the process   
Ineffective at engaging the steering committee, managing relationships, and is not respected by partners Effectively engages the steering committee, manages relationships, and is well-respected by partners   
Common understanding Confusion or tension within steering committee on scope or causes of the problem Partners show shared understanding of the problem and its causes (all can articulate the problem & its causes)   
Partners afraid to share their views, setbacks, challenges, and failures with one another Backbone has established
a culture of trust, respect, and
learning among partners
  
Common agenda No shared goals Steering committee reaches consensus on shared goals, population group, and geographic boundaries   
Steering committee does not use data to select strategies Steering committee used data to inform selection of strategies   
Partners communicate goals in inconsistent ways Partners accurately communicate (in meetings, to the public, etc.) goals   
Partners not advocating for initiative’s goals Partners advocate (in meetings, to the public, etc.) for initiative’s goals   
Engagement Relevant partners/stakeholders missing Relevant partners (including community voices) fully engaged   
Communication structures and processes insufficient to keep partners engaged and informed Regular meetings & communications keep partners engaged and informed   
Zero buy-in Buy-in very high   
No sense of urgency High sense of urgency   
Partners don’t know what their role might be Partners articulate their role in effort   
Mutually reinforcing and aligned activities No collaborative work Partners identify collaboration opportunities   
No action plan Action plan clearly specifies the activities that each partners has committed to implementing   
Activities duplicated or counter- productive with gaps remaining Partners coordinate activities, duplicate efforts eliminated, gaps filled   
Funding not aligned Partners align or redirect available funding towards initiative’s goals   
Professional training, standards and practices no aligned Professional training, standards and practices aligned to support EfC goals   
Shared measures No agreement on shared metrics Partners agree on shared metrics   
No review of progress; decisions based on personal opinions, experiences, or anecdotes Steering Committee regularly reviews progress and makes decisions based on data   
Mobilize funding No new funds New funding contributed towards goals   
Context Cultural, political, or socioeconomic factors get in the way of progress Cultural, political, socioeconomic factors contribute to progress   
Build public will (Awareness & Commitment) No influential champion Several well-respected champions passionate about the problem   
Public unaware of ACEs, their social determinants, or how to prevent them from occurring Public highly aware of the impact of ACEs, their social determinants, and how to prevent them from occurring   
Norms ignore ACEs and toxic environments or consider them an issue of “those people” Norms change to support safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for ALL children   
Dominant narrative/framing gets in the way of policy changes that would be supportive of children and families Effective framing and messaging is widely used & is changing the public narrative in ways that support policy change   
No public expression of support for preventive action Public expresses support for preventive action   
No public action towards preventive solutions Public takes action towards preventive solutions   
Policy change No policy agenda or relationships with policy-makers or policy-movers Initiative has a policy agenda and relationships with policy-makers and policy-movers   
Partners don’t know how to talk about what policies or why Partners have talking points and provide consistent messages   
Policy-makers unaware of the impact of ACEs and their social determinants Policy-makers highly aware of the impact of ACEs and their social determinants   
Policy-makers unaware of policies that can prevent ACEs from occurring Policy-makers highly aware of policies that can prevent ACEs from occurring   
No expressed support from policy-makers for preventive action Policy-makers express support for preventive action   
No new policies proposed that align with goals Policy-makers propose policy changes aligned with goals   
Policies contribute to increased ACEs Policies increasingly aligned with goals   

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Wasilewski, Y., Shaw, D. & Hawley, L. Accomplishing Great Things Together: a Cross-State Synthesis of Essentials for Childhood Grantees’ Efforts to Prevent Child Maltreatment. Int. Journal on Child Malt. 1, 205–222 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-018-0011-1

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Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Prevention
  • Collective impact