It’s shocking: Preschoolers are three times more likely to be expelled than elementary, middle and high school children, according to The figures from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Boys are four times more likely than girls to be deported, and African American children are twice as likely as Latinox and white children.
An organization with child care centers and mental health providers in Kentucky and Ohio began a long journey 15 years ago when it first heard about young children being deported. By integrating a holistic approach to the family and the science of adverse childhood experiences, the Consortium for resilient young children (CRYC) has taken a radically different approach to helping small children stay in school.
“We came together 15 years ago to begin to address the growing need for socio-emotional support for young children,” says Carolyn Brinkmann. “Our organizations were getting phone calls from their own programs about expelling young children from kindergarten and child care, and we tried to figure out how to start responding.”
Brinkmann is the director of the Resilient Children and Families Program (RCFP), a mentoring and training arm of CRYC. CRYC includes five educational or child care agencies and three mental health service agencies in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. RCFP provides coaching and training to approximately 50 community programs serving approximately 1,541 children.
Brinkmann and his colleagues began by researching programs that tackle stressors and promote resilience in the whole family.
“We don’t work with toddlers in a vacuum,” says Whitney Cundiff, early childhood services team leader for Northkey Community Care in Covington, Ky., Which is part of the consortium. Along with Brinkmann, Cundiff led the research and training for the consortium and they decided to use something commonly known as two generations approach – small children and their parents or guardians.
In 2008, Brinkmann trained child care providers in the Strengthening Family Protective Factors approach, a framework developed by the Center for Social Policy Studies. This includes building the resilience of parents, strengthening the social bonds of families in their communities, educating parents about child development, and helping parents to partner with organizations that can help them. when they are struggling to feed and house their families or meet other basic needs. However, it does not train people in the science of pace.
Then, in 2016, RCFP joined a Cincinnati-based collaboration called Joining forces for children, an intersectoral collaboration that focuses on building resilience and preventing adversity in children and families. Among its founding members was Cincinnati Children’s Hospital pediatrician Dr. Robert Shapiro, who was interested in their guidance over two generations.
“He wanted us to think about how we could get child care providers to do more in-depth work in understanding and preventing ACE,” says Brinkmann.
The term ACE, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, comes from the Reference Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Kaiser Permanente Adverse childhood experiences study, who has linked 10 types of childhood trauma – such as being abused or witnessing abuse, neglect, or having a parent with mental health or addiction issues – to health issues at home. adulthood in 17,000 adults. The study found that ACEs were remarkably common, with most people reporting at least one ACE. People who have four or more different types of ACE – about 12 percent of the population – have a 460 percent higher risk of depression and a 700 percent higher risk of becoming an alcoholic, compared to people who do not have ACE. (PACEs Science 101; Do you have your ACE / resilience score?)