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Supporting families exposed to adverse childhood experiences within child care settings: A feasibility pilot

Childhood adversity is strongly associated with poor health and well-being in childhood and adulthood. Young children are at greatest risk during their developmental years. Child care providers can participate in preventing the impact of adversity on children by becoming communities of support for families in need. This project aimed to explore the feasibility and acceptability of identifying childhood adversity and strengthening family protective factors by incorporating professional development and both universal and targeted interventions that included screening, motivational interviewing, parent cafés, and parenting workshops within ten family and center-based child care programs. A total of 159 caregivers completed the screen about their experiences of adversity, with 60% disclosing adversity during their childhood and 53% disclosing current risk for adversity for their child. An intergenerational association was found between caregivers' past exposure to adversity and their child's current risk (p=0.023). However, this association was no longer significant (p=0.14) when accounting for their current protective factors (p=0.002). Most families (77%) who disclosed moderate to high adversity or risk on the screen participated in a brief interview with their child care provider. Eleven parent events were also conducted with an attendance of 91. Child care providers reported that these interventions were both feasible and beneficial. Caregivers showed significant improvements in protective factors (p=0.013) over the course of the project. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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