For the first time in 17 years, Invest in Kids is adding a new program to our statewide portfolio: Child First. We are proud to share that despite many changes over the past six months, Invest in Kids' dedication to doing what's best for families remains steadfast and at the forefront of our programming.
Colorado families deserve access to programs proven to help children succeed. Especially in this uncertain time, preventing trauma is crucial, but addressing experienced trauma within families is equally necessary. That’s why the adoption of Child First is not only long-planned, but deeply important. After thorough feasibility and needs-based analysis by Invest in Kids' staff over the past 12 months, before COVID-19 touched the lives of Coloradans, the Invest in Kids' Board of Directors voted to formally adopt Child First as Invest in Kids' third program offering to best support families in our state.
What is Child First?
Child First is a national, evidence-based, two-generation model that works with young children and families, providing intensive, home-based services. Child First helps families who are struggling build strong, nurturing relationships that heal and protect young children from the devastating impact of trauma and chronic stress.
This proven program will now be available for the first time in Colorado, and will be integrated into our array of current proven programs (Nurse-Family Partnership® and The Incredible Years®) to help families, and the providers who support them.
Invest in Kids’ long-standing programs—Nurse-Family Partnership and The Incredible Years—focus on primary prevention for families. Supporting prenatal health, early childhood development, and children's social and emotional well-being, the addition of Child First allows Invest in Kids to maintain our strategic approach, intentionally serving the entire family unit, and providing more intensive treatment to families who have experienced traumatic events.
Treating the trauma from this global crisis—which is felt most profoundly at home, and by those least able to escape its reach—makes the adoption of Child First ever more crucial at this unprecedented time. The economic and psychological effects of quarantine, job loss, reduced income, and all of the elevated risks Colorado households face, cannot be underestimated, and are disproportionately felt by our families most impacted by systemic and structural inequities.
We feel strongly that now, more than ever, Colorado’s young children and families need the type of prevention and early intervention found in Child First’s wraparound team approach. Invest in Kids will continue educating communities across Colorado about Child First and its availability, with an aim to begin serving families through a pioneering group in the summer of 2021.
Invest in Kids is here to double down on our efforts to serve low-income families, both through our traditional programming, and now through Child First. Click here for more information on Child First's program approach, results, and Invest in Kids' role. And make sure to watch for more news on Child First and how you can help support this vital program!