By Michelle Ries
The North Carolina Division of Public Health has, since 2013, been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement a public health framework for child maltreatment prevention. From 2014-15, as a partner in this initiative, the NCIOM convened the Task Force on Essentials for Childhood and issued recommendations to statewide stakeholders in 4 areas, with the goal of ensuring safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments to strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. As backbone organization for the implementation of the 2015 recommendations, the NCIOM has, since 2016, convened a series of workgroups, coordinated aligned work across partners, and participated in several other statewide initiatives, ensuring that the Essentials for Childhood recommendations are included in new and ongoing work.
Starting in fall 2019, under the guidance of state child health and well-being experts, the North Carolina Essentials for Childhood initiative will narrow its strategic focus to meet 2 aims outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
1. Changing social norms to prevent child maltreatment: North Carolina Essentials for Childhood is providing funding support to Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s awareness campaign, “Connections Matter.” Through a series of training modules, promotional strategies, and personal stories, PCANC’s “Connections Matter” initiative aims to emphasize the importance of family and community relationships in building resilience for children impacted by trauma and other adverse childhood experiences.
2.Strengthening economic supports for families: North Carolina Essentials for Childhood is providing funding support to partner organizations for ongoing work in the promotion and implementation of family friendly workplace policies:
In addition, NCIOM and the Division of Public Health continue to work across state agencies, with philanthropic partners, and with local organizations to promote strategies that meet the goals of Essentials for Childhood and create safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for North Carolina’s children and families.