Task Force on Essentials for Childhood

The NCIOM Task Force on Essentials for Childhood was tasked with studying and developing a collaborative, evidence-based, systems-oriented, public health-grounded strategic plan to reduce child maltreatment and secure family well-being in North Carolina. The Task Force Report summarizes the findings of the Task Force and the recommendations. Taken together, the recommendations of the Task Force will ensure North Carolina has a comprehensive, coordinated system to support child and family well-being.

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Task Force Leadership


Man smiling

Kenneth A. Dodge, Ph.D.

Founding Director
Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Headshot: Kathy Pope

Kathy Pope

Board of Directors

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

Project Director

Headshot: Michelle Ries

Michelle G. Ries, MPH

Project Director

North Carolina Institute of Medicine

Task Force Meetings

January 2014 to December 2014

Task Force meeting dates, agendas, and additional materials


Adverse experiences in childhood (ACEs) disrupt normal child development, negatively impacting brain architecture. Such impairment leaves children vulnerable and many children and adolescents adopt risky health and social behaviors such as drinking, overeating, and sexual promiscuity. In time, these risky behaviors can translate into poor health, disease, disability, and early death. Promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments (SSNRs and Es) are essential to ensure children reach their full potential.

In 2004-2005, a group of state leaders from across multiple disciplines came together through a North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention to study this issue and to develop a strategic plan. The Task Force met for nine months and developed a statewide strategic planNew Directions for North Carolina (2005).

Since the publication of New Directions for North Carolina, tremendous gains have been made toward accomplishing recommendations regarding public health leadership, mobilization of public-private partnerships, shared decision-making, and increased replication of evidence-based programs. See 2008 report update here.

The goal of the NCIOM Task Force on Essentials for Childhood is to develop an integrated, comprehensive 5-year strategic plan to coordinate and prioritize the services, programs and/or policies of a number of state agencies that will build on New Directions for NC. Thus, the Task Force will increase the capacity at the state and community level to expand primary prevention of child maltreatment efforts by incorporating the four goals of the CDC’s Essentials for Childhood and applying a collective impact framework. The four goals identified by the Task Force include: