10 Steps To Success: Building Systems to Prevent and Treat ACEs


Here are ten tested steps that guide our 100% Community initiative focused on the data-driven and cross-sector prevention of ACEs, trauma and health disparities.

 The ten steps are those taken by local stakeholders as part of the 100% Community initiative. Action teams will choose to focus on one of ten family-focused sectors, following the key phases of continuous quality improvement which include: assessment, planning, action and evaluation.

We seek improvements in all ten sectors, from behavioral health care and medical care to housing and food. We're working with innovators in the public and private sectors.

We are thinking outside-the-box for innovative approaches to increasing services in rural and urban areas. For example, think how app-ordered rides utterly transformed the transportation sector. Such rides could be subsidized so that our most vulnerable families have easy access to vital services.  That's the type of big picture idea that gets local communities working at 100% of their capacity and serving all children and parents. Our goal in all 33 counties of New Mexico is that every child, student and families has access to the services that lead to health, safety and resilience. A seamless system of services also reduces health, education and opportunity disparities.

The Anna, Age Eight Institute staff supports all county-based action teams, step-by-step, as they work on their community innovations. The teams work in alignment with the work of county commissioners, city council members, schools board members and leadership in higher education.

Step 1: Share

Ensure that your action team has a clear vision, goals, shared understanding of data use and other components of the collective impact process.

Step 2: Assess

Assess the degree to which parents and youth have access to affordable family-friendly services (using the Resilient Community Experience Survey or other tools).

Step 3: Align

Identify who in your county is already working on improving your sector; network with them create synergy and opportunities for mutual support and insights.

Step 4: Seek

Gather research on evidence-based solutions; find the right solution that can be customized to meet the needs of your county’s population.

Step 5: Plan

Find a solution that could work, put together a logic model and proposal to share its budget, timelines, partners, technology, outcomes and cost-benefit analysis.

Step 6: Propose

Share your project proposal with elected leaders and stakeholders your city, county and school community. Respond to feedback and seek alliances.

Step 7: Disrupt!  

We always advocate for respectful dialogue which can mean agreeing to disagree. That said, it’s our job to challenge the status quo that leaves kids behind and hurt. Use technology to gather support for your proposal – communicating with the public and local leaders.

Step 8: Commit

Be persistent and commit to developing support for your proposal. We know from experience innovation can take years, but with the right connections, new projects can be green-lighted within months.

Step 9: Improve

Once you secure the buy-in you need, start continuous quality improvement: assessing, planning, acting and evaluating. As we have said earlier, this step may be the biggest challenge, all projects need vigilance and creativity to make course-corrections if they are warranted.

Step 10: Measure

We celebrate the process of innovation and report out on our work. We collect data, including feedback from all residents, to ensure meaningful progress is occurring.

To learn more please visit the Anna, Age Eight Institute: www.AnnaAgeEight.org

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I would like to add a step 11. As a Group: Support and Demonstrate Healthy Decisions for the Family and the Planet. What we DO speaks louder than what we say.  Are you encouraging healthy food choices.....I can not tell you how many health care provider conferences I have been to where the food is all sugar, fat, and carbs!  Does your office recycle? Is you language inclusive? Is there a plan to support breastfeeding? in the workplace? In public areas?  at your trainings or events? (proven to decrease violence against children, plus numerous other long term health benefits for mother and child).

Last edited by Rosanne Gephart
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