The future prosperity of our state depends on our ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation. We now know that the basic architecture of the human brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. When you are building a house, you go step by step, beginning with a strong foundation. Just like a house, a strong foundation in children’s early years increases the probability of positive outcomes. A weak foundation increases the odds of later difficulties.
We know how to create stronger foundations for children’s development. One active ingredient is the “serve and return” relationships that children have with their parents and other caregivers in their family or community. Like the process of serve and return in games such as tennis and volleyball, young children naturally reach out for interaction. When adults respond by mirroring back those interactions in a consistent way, the child’s learning process is complete. When children are in environments where this process is disrupted, their brain development is harmed.
New Hampshire Children’s Trust has made a five-year commitment to supporting evidence-based programs and strategies known to build strong foundations.
Eliminating child abuse and neglect will take all of us. The New Hampshire Children’s Trust staff are available to meet with networks, religious, civic, fraternal, education and other groups to share their knowledge of New Hampshire’s child abuse and neglect crisis, child abuse and neglect prevention, and the Children’s Trust’s strategies and programs. Attendees will be invited to get involved in the elimination of child abuse and neglect.
My Voice Matters
We believe everything is best done together. We believe that all children can thrive in safe, stable and nurturing families and communities when families advocate for their children’s needs. You can make a difference. When family members act as advocates their children do better. Educators, physicians, employers, and elected leaders want the best for you, your family and your community. They count on you to let them know what would be helpful. Expressing your needs is advocacy.
Period of PURPLE Crying®
A partnership between the New Hampshire Children’s Trust, the NH Abusive Head Trauma Coalition, hospitals throughout the state, pediatricians, home visitors and others is working to bring the Period of PURPLE Crying to every parent of a newborn in NH. PURPLE educates parents and other caregivers about a developmental stage of increased crying that all infants experience, the frustration that can result from the sometimes inconsolable crying and the dangers of reacting to that frustration by shaking an infant. Crying is often the trigger for the abuse of babies, particularly when caregivers are tired and frustrated and nothing else seems to work. The serious consequences of shaken baby syndrome are 100% preventable. Find out how you can help.
The elimination of child abuse and neglect means more than protecting children from harm. It also requires building five protective factors within families and communities to provide supportive environments for growing great kids. Whether you are a business, a child care provider, an educator, a health worker, a person of faith or a parent, you have a role to play. Learn more about strengthening families in New Hampshire.
Family Support New Hampshire
Family Support New Hampshire is the statewide network of family resource centers and family support programs. Family Support NH is not a program of New Hampshire Children's Trust; they are a separate organization. However, FSNH provides a vital link between organizations doing work to support families and promote protective factors, and New Hampshire Children's Trust is pleased to host a page devoted to this important organization.
The key to growing healthy, happy kids is to reach families as early as possible and to support stressed parents and caregivers through the challenges of raising children. Home visits by highly trained staff make the difference, especially for parents who are isolated or who are facing multiple challenges. Families who receive home visiting services have healthier babies, better parent-child relationships, and decreased long-term dependence on other social services and welfare. Home visiting services are available in every county in the state, but the need exceeds current capacity. Help get a New Hampshire child off to a great start.