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Celebrate Prevention Month!

PREVENTION, at its core, means helping families identify and build on their strengths, like effective communication, a strong support network, and having the ability to bounce back from tough situations.


It is the way we connect and support each other in order to build environments that strengthen families and create success for individuals and throughout society. 

Children and families are the foundation of our communities, and when they are safe, strong, and supported, we all benefit

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How are WE prevention?

We are prevention when:

  • We create space to take care of ourselves.

  • We reach out to a friend and ask how they're doing. 

  • We have the neighbor's kids over so parents can recharge.

  • We donate to our local food pantry or volunteer at a community event.

  • We advocate for family-friendly legislature. 

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The impact of each of these examples travels from ourselves and our relationships with others to our community and society at large.


This pathway is called the social-ecological model, and when we implement these preventative factors at each level, everyone benefits.

And these preventative factors have a name—the 5 Protective Factors:

  1. Parental Resilience

  2. Social Connections

  3. Concrete Support in Times of Need

  4. Social and Emotional Competence of Children

  5. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development

When these factors are present and robust at the individual, relational, community, and society levels, we can begin to see a future where families are their strongest and all children grow up in safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments

Continue reading to learn more about how YOU can BE PREVENTION.

Moments of Joy
Moments of Joy

When we implement the protective factors in our lives, we make space for family joy. 

By creating moments of joy, we allow for stressors to decrease and resilience and resources to increase, and in that space, good things happen. 

The best part: joy can start anywhere. So let’s see if we can’t spread a little to a family in our neighborhood today.

Ways to Get Involved

Attend a Virtual Event:

Attend an Event
You are Prevention: The Role of Relationships - 4/14, 6-7:30 pm
Facilitated by Michele Holt-Shannon - Director, NH Listens at the Carsey School of Public Policy; featuring Kirsten Durzy - Project Lead, OurStory NH and Michelle Kolias - Family Services Manager, Community Action Partnership of Strafford County

Relationships build communities, but what goes into building strong relationships? Join us for an engaging discussion about the power of relationships in building community. Facilitated by Michele Holt-Shannon, Director of NH Listens, we’ll listen to members of successful community engagement programs discuss how authentic collaboration and deep listening have impacted their communities, the lives of families, and their access to resources. This will be a 60-minute program with 30 minutes of Q&A at the end. 

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Michele Holt-Shannon is director and co-founder for New Hampshire Listens at the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy. Her work on and off-campus is focused on inclusive civic engagement, community problem-solving, and building coalitions for community initiated change efforts. She joined Carsey in 2011 to focus on process design to ensure fair, inclusive, and informed outcomes for local and statewide projects. She works to bring people together across perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and create equitable solutions for their communities. Michele is consulted on navigating controversial community issues, addressing racial equity, and fostering organizational and community cultures of sustainable and authentic civic engagement. Recent projects include Learning exchanges on racial equity, statewide conversations on the American dream and NH’s kids, mental health and substance use, community police relations, and water sustainability.

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Kirsten Durzy, bio coming soon!

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Michelle Kolias, bio coming soon!

We are Prevention: Engaging Community at All Levels - 4/21, 12-1:30 pm
Facilitated by Scott Spradling - President, The Spradling Group; featuring Brian Beals, MD - Pediatrician, Coos Family Health Services; Brenda Guggisberg - Executive Director, The Upper Room; Joelle Martin - Executive Director & Co-Founder, Milford Thrives, and Cassie Yackley, Psy.D., PLLC - Trainer & Consultant, Trauma Responsive Practices/Systems

Join us for this energizing conversation anchored in building systems across sectors that strengthen families and promote safe, stable, and nurturing environments for children. Together, the panel will share their stories, what is working, and how to bring that success to other communities across the state. This will be a 60-minute panel discussion with 30 minutes of Q&A at the end.

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Scott Spradling is an Emmy award-winning former reporter, anchor, and political director for WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH. He spent 15 years in local media, both radio and tv, covering everything from breaking news to the local town council to the NH Presidential Primary.

Since 2008, Scott has operated his public relations and consulting firm, The Spradling Group, and worked closely on a variety of major projects in New Hampshire, with clients of all sizes and backgrounds.

He specializes in working with media, political, and business leaders to address public awareness, crisis communications, project development, grassroots, and government relations.

Scott has twins who are seniors in high school and also sings in a 12-piece band when he has five spare minutes.

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Brian grew up in Southern NH but has other areas of the country while earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, and a Doctorate in Medicine from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He returned to NH to complete Pediatric residency training at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon and established connections to Coos County and more specifically to the Berlin-Gorham area. Like much of NH’s North Country, this area is medically underserved and in fact, had not had a pediatrician for over a decade when Brian began practicing there. He and his wife, Wendy, have now been rooted for over 25 years, now as part of Coos County Family Health Services.


Given the physical distance to pediatric subspecialty services, Brian has developed several niche areas to his practice that augment the more general services. He serves as the pediatric medical director at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin and helped implement and maintain certification in NRP and PALS to other providers and nursing staff. He is also actively involved with the network of providers who have extra training in completing medical examinations for children suspected of having been physically or sexually abused. In conjunction with being able to provide this medical care locally, Brian was directly involved with the creation of the CAC of Coos County and currently serves as President of its Board of Directors. His efforts to advocate for children also extend to being an Executive Committee member of the NH chapter of the AAP. Brian is also a member of the Children's Trust's Board of Directors and manages to incorporate full-time clinical teaching into his practice welcoming students across all disciplines (MD, DO, PA and NP) into the practice to gain exposure to the realities of rural medicine.

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Brenda Guggisberg is the Executive Director of The Upper Room (TUR), Family Resource Center in Derry NH. Brenda has worked for TUR for 20 years, as a program coordinator facilitating programs for Teen parents, Parent Education, Food Pantry, Operations and GED/HISET. Working in residential services, institutions, and both public and private schools prior to landing finally at The Upper Room, Brenda has focused her career advocating for education, services and programs that support individuals and families.

Brenda is involved in the work community through her role with FSNH Board and Membership, on the board for Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, as a lead member for The South Central Public Health Network, and other committees and groups that work toward the well-being of children and families.

Brenda shares her life with her husband, 2 sons, and 2 dogs, and extended family and friends, and finds ways to spend time outdoors when at all possible.

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Joelle Martin lives in Milford with her husband Don Brezinski; they have a grown daughter. Joelle currently serves as Executive Director of Milford Thrives, facilitator for the Milford Kids Thrive (early childhood) Collaborative, and steering committee member for the state’s Region 3 (Greater Nashua) Early Childhood Lead organization. She previously served as NH State Representative, Vice-Chair of House Finance Div III, and Steering Committee member of the Children’s Caucus. Currently, Joelle also serves as President of the Board of the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley as well as a steering committee member for the region’s Drug Free Community grantee, CAST (Community Action for Safe Teens). She is also a Board member for the Center for Trauma Responsive Practice Change. Joelle has an MS in Early Childhood Education, MEd in Special Education, and an MBA. She previously worked as a preschool teacher, special educator, and publishing executive.

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Dr. Cassie Yackley is a licensed psychologist and master trainer with content expertise in trauma-informed care. She is deeply passionate about addressing the epidemic of violence in our society and has committed the last 30 years to understanding and effectively mitigating the impact of traumatic exposure on children, families, and systems. She has extensive experience partnering with other child- and family-serving systems to create trauma responsive organizations. Her true hope is foster compassion, reflection, and community in others so that, together, we can build a more connected hopeful society.

Be Prevention: Advocating for a Stronger NH - 4/26, 12-1:30 pm
Presented by New Futures - Emma Sevigny, Children's Behavioral Health Policy Coordinator & Rebecca Woitkowski, Esq., Kids Count Policy Director

Have you ever wondered how to make your voice heard when it matters? New Futures is the lead nonpartisan organization in the state that advocates, educates, and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all Granite State residents through policy change. Come and learn how your stories matter and their impact on legislative decisions. This is a 60-minute program with 30 minutes of Q&A at the end. 

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Emma serves as the Children's Behavioral Health Policy Coordinator for New Futures. She works to support and strengthen a comprehensive and integrated System of Care for children and youth.

Before coming to New Futures, Emma practiced estate planning and family law. She enjoyed working with families to solve problems that they were facing. In her role as an attorney, Emma frequently helped clients navigate social services outside of the court system, and she worked to simplify this complex system for families in need. Emma also serves on the board of the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, where she has learned more about how non-profits advocate for community members on a broader scale.


Emma graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Law from Plymouth State University and graduated with her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Emma is originally from Connecticut, but she fell in love with New Hampshire while she attended school and decided to stay permanently. In her free time, Emma enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her family and two dogs.

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Rebecca serves as the Kids Count Policy Director for New Futures.  She works to coordinate and lead early childhood policy and advocacy efforts in New Hampshire.

Prior to entering into this role, Rebecca worked in private practice focusing on civil litigation and family law.  Her experience working directly with clients lead her to seek out policy work to help improve the lives of New Hampshire families on a greater scale. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern New Hampshire University in 2008 and her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2011.

As a life-long resident, Rebecca has a deep love for New Hampshire and is eager for the opportunity to use her legal skills to help advance policies that will positively impact her home state. In her free time, Rebecca can be found exploring the White Mountains with her family and two dogs.

Wear Blue!

Mark your calendars! Friday, April 1st, is #WearBlueDay2022. Wear your favorite blue outfit to help us share the message that by strengthening families, we can create nurturing environments for children that PREVENT!

We all have a role to play. Take a picture and send it to to be featured on our feeds, or tag us @nhchildrenstrust!

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Download Our Free Resources:

Check out our catalog of I am Prevention content to share, engage with, and learn how we can all Be Prevention!

Resources include our social media content matrix, Prevention Month Resource Guide, Parent Activity Calendar, #Unselfie Template, and more!
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Check out our Media List!

With various media recommended by NHCT Programs staff, there is something for everyone to explore the importance of prevention!  DOWNLOAD

Thank you to our Champions of Prevention!
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