Aligning Child and Family Services to Neuroscience

New Campaign on Healthy Child Brain Development

KVC Health Systems recently launched a public awareness campaign centered on healthy brain development, toxic stress, and resilience. Watch the three 15-second animated spots here:

Healthy, Prosperous Communities Start with Healthy Brains 

infant child brain development neuroscience KVC Health Systems Change in Mind toxic stress child welfare behavioral healthcare mental healthIn order for our communities to prosper, we must ensure that all children have the ability to develop healthy brains. A child’s basic brain architecture is constructed from early childhood into adulthood through positive interactions with caregivers and adults. These interactions support the developing brain, improving children’s ability to self-regulate, problem solve and focus as they manage common, healthy stressors in life. Just as positive interactions can build brain architecture, a lack of positive interactions replaced with negative experiences including abuse, neglect, poverty, violence, parental substance abuse or separation can derail the brain’s foundation for growth.

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Change in Mind Initiative Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Alberta Family Wellness Initiative KVC Health Systems neuroscience brain development children familiesResearch shows that these toxic stressors, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, cause unhealthy hormone levels which can negatively impact the development of the brain and executive functioning skills. Without strong brain development, individuals are at risk of life-long health concerns, engaging in substance abuse, poor coping and stress management, and unfortunately passing these same risks on to their children. The effects of toxic stress can be corrected as brain development continues into adulthood, but early exposure to ongoing positive interactions will ensure the economic and social wellbeing of our children and our communities.

In 2015, KVC was one of just 15 U.S. and Canadian nonprofit organizations selected by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to participate in a new initiative called “Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities.” Over this three year collaborative, the sites are working together using recent neuroscience research to influence practice, policy and public decisions. (Read the full press release here)

Video Resources

The Harvard Center on the Developing ChildAlberta Family Wellness, and the Frameworks Institute, have produced several videos highlighting the importance of healthy brain development which should be shared to impact public policies and decisions. Click the icon in the top left corner of the video below to browse the list of videos, or click here.


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