While tech and communication flourished, we remained silent on childhood trauma
Our 100% Community initiative is empowered by technology, data and irreplaceable collaboration on a countywide level.
Where are we?
The nation has been engaging in a twenty year discussion about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) since the publication of the first ACEs Study by doctors Felitti and Ander in 1998. ACEs have diminished families, schools, campuses and workplaces for decades. That ends now with 100% Community, the nation’s first data-driven prevention strategy focused on preventing the root causes of ACEs, trauma and social adversity.
100% Community is far beyond a simple training. It’s nothing less than a mobilizing and capacity-building strategy to be implemented on a county level.
ACEs represent one of our nation’s most costly, complex and unaddressed challenges. As written in Anna, Age Eight and 100% Community by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello, families are swimming in a sea of emotional trauma due to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that occur in the home. Children, youth and parents also live with social adversity that confronts them as they step out into the community.
We’re awash in data on almost every community health challenge confronting our families, and almost every one tracks back to trauma in childhood and our teen years.
How complex a challenge?
Consider that trauma has been described as a public health crisis by our federal government—yet one that has yet to manifest into a loud public outcry that leaders must listen to.
Trauma marginalizes students yet most schools and campuses have remained quiet about its impact on academic achievement and graduation rates. Why, you ask. Frankly, most administrators have described ACEs as, “an overwhelming challenge for schools and universities.” Most institutions of education have no road map on how to proceed with student services and instructors equipped to address ACEs. We do.
In the health care setting, from medical doctors to behavioral health care providers, practitioners are unsure about assessing for ACEs. There are those who say, “screening can lead to vital intervention,” while others say, “Once we identify ACEs in a family member, what’s the protocol?” Our family and community health clinics do not know how to proceed. We do.
At work, trauma impacts job readiness and workplace productivity, yet it is rarely framed as an economic development issue. Why? Employers are just now making the connection between trauma in schools, lack of job readiness and worker absenteeism and failure to perform up to standard. Employers don’t know where to begin with an “ACEs in the Workplace” program. We do.
Trauma can lead to all forms of substance misuse, yet the 24/7 streaming news cycle seems incapable of connecting the dots between children being abused and neglected, and the very same children numbing the pain of untreated trauma with any substance they can get their hands on. The public has no idea where to turn to get reliable information on all the health risks associated with ACEs. We do.
To put it bluntly, we as a society are navigating amid untreated trauma every day, yet most federal, state and local leaders are unsure if it is a priority. Most don’t have the data and research and strategies to guide them. We do.
10 Steps to a successful 100% Community initiative
We provide to you our step-by-step process, with the understanding that each county may wish to customize the process to meet the needs of a unique county and all the cities, towns and communities within it.
Step 1: Creating the Backbone
A core team of local champions bring the 100% Community initiative to their county. Our initiative is guided by the following five features of collective impact: A common vision and agenda; collaboration and mutually-reinforcing activities; continuous communication and transparency; shared measurement and use of data; and backbone support in the form of a local agency.
Step 2: Sponsoring Community Forums
We support the community organizers in sponsoring community forums across the county to gather feedback from those working in our 10 “surviving” and “thriving” sectors, which includes higher education and socially-engaged youth, students and adults.
Step 3: Convening Leaders in 10 Sectors
Community organizers convene a series of meetings of agency leaders from all 10 “surviving” and “thriving” sectors to assess their interest in the 100% Community initiative and their capacity to devote time to it. The goal of the 100% Community action teams is to strengthen services so that 100% of residents have access to them in a timely manner.
Step 4: Conduct the Resilient Community Experience Survey
This county-wide survey assesses to what degree local parents and youth have access to the 10 key “surviving” and “thriving” service areas/programs. These survey results will identify gaps in services in specific areas of the county and why there are challenges accessing services. It will also show where the county is doing an exceptional job of meeting the needs of families.
Step 5: Share the results of the Resilient Community Experience Survey at a Community Forum
With a shared understanding of survey results among the 100% Community initiative participants and county leaders, the real work of the initiative begins. Survey results from each of the 10 sectors can now guide the action teams in addressing gaps.
Step 6: Recruit for and launch the 100% Community Course
The community organizers and action team members take the 100% Community course, which includes classroom instruction, coaching and web-based lessons that are customized to meet local needs. The course provides an in depth understanding of the data-driven process of continuous quality improvement (CQI) focused on four phases: assessment, planning, action and evaluation.
Step 7: Planning
Once action teams have the survey data and have been through the 100% community training, they are ready for the planning stage. Teams will review the research for each sector, much of which is outlined in 100% Community and on our website called the 100% Innovation Center.
Step 8: Implement and Support all 100% Community Projects/Innovations
Community organizers support the 100% Community projects designed by course graduates, who are now action team members. These will be projects in all 10 sectors with varying timelines, from a few months to years.
Step 9: Sponsor a 100% Community Summit on Thriving Childhoods
Community organizers invite all county leaders, stakeholders and the public to an event to share how 100% Community projects are reducing gaps in services and other accomplishments. This yearly event provides an opportunity for community dialogue, brainstorming and reflection.
Step 10: Celebrate small successes while working on big ones
Community organizers convene all action team members to acknowledge all the work they have done, sharing the successes and challenges. This initiative is all about showcasing innovation that increases the health, safety and educational opportunities of all county residents.
The long-term measurable and meaningful goal
Over the years, with full support of the Anna, Age Eight Institute, the 100% Community initiative will become part of local government, institutionalized like the departments of police, fire and parks. Ideally, this will be in the form of a “City Department of Family Resilience,” working in collaboration with all county, school and higher education entities.
How radically simple a solution?
Despite thousands of websites, conferences, siminars, courses, policy briefs and blogs and a multi-billon dollar health promotion industry, designing a data-driven strategy to end trauma has failed to materialize. Until now.
Ending the root causes of childhood trauma, and all the costly health and education problems associated with it, has arrived in the form of a strategy based on decades of research focused on the social determinants of health. Quite simply, we create trauma-free and thriving children and parents by ensuring that all our families have access to, and use, ten services shown to increase the health, safety and resilience of families.
The ten vital services include those for surviving: medical and dental care, behavioral health care, housing supports, food supports, and transportation. The services for thriving include parent supports, early childhood learning, community schools, youth mentors, and job training.
Two simple questions can tell you how family friendly your cities, towns and communities are.
- In your county, what percentage of families have access to ten vital services for surviving and thriving ?
- For those who can’t access these vital services, why?
Our parent and youth survey provides you with the answers to these questions, including how inaccessible services are, as well as why and where. These data can guide your 100% Community efforts to ensure that all families have access to the services shown to ensure trauma free and thriving children and parents.
The 100% Community initiative reinvents what’s been considered “ACEs prevention” over the last two decades. We empower each county to take that vital step beyond being “trauma-informed” to going upstream to prevent ACEs before they start.
When you and your county leadership ensure that ten vital services are accessible to 100% of families, your investment in the 100% Community initiative is also a cost-effective investment in trauma-free and thriving schools, campuses, workplaces and local economies.
Our Blog Makes The Case for Joining 100% Community
Explore our blog 10@100%, named after our groundbreaking strategy which is the foundation of our ACEs, trauma and social adversity prevention work, ensuring that 10 services for surviving and thriving are accessible to 100% of families.
Social work has never been the focus of my professional life. I was born and raised in the IT world, so it was a surprise when someone suggested…
All states want to be family-friendly. It’s an easy slogan to adopt but a much harder reality to arrive at. All states have in common…
Create a free account to access everything.
Discover the key to creating a county where all children and parents thrive. Or as we like to say: join, learn, connect, share and solve.