1-2-3 Club | Impact Blog

Post Date | September 6, 2023

Bringing Hope to Families: Supporting the Safe Babies Program

Every act of kindness and generosity has the power to bring hope to families in need. Donating to the right cause can make a significant difference in the lives of those facing adversity, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable among us – babies and toddlers in the child welfare system. Your donation can bring hope to families by supporting programs like Safe Babies, which are dedicated to empowering families and enhancing the chances of safe reunification.

Safe Babies: Caring for Families

Safe Babies is a remarkable program that plays a pivotal role in improving the lives of infants and toddlers within the child welfare system. By contributing to this program, you become a part of a movement that’s making a profound impact on families and young children in crisis.

Family-Determined Outcomes

One of the key ways your donation can bring hope to families is by supporting programs that prioritize family-determined outcomes. Safe Babies understands that every family is unique and faces different challenges. By supporting families through wraparound services, connecting parents to resources, and through systemic changes; Safe Babies is increasing the likelihood of safe reunification.

In 2022, Safe Babies celebrated an incredible milestone as 81% of closed cases reached family-determined outcomes. This statistic is not just a number; it represents real families who were able to take control of their lives, make positive changes, and foster a strong future for their children.

Safe Reunification

One of the most heartwarming aspects of supporting Safe Babies is the higher percentage of infants and toddlers who are able to return home to their families. Through the program’s holistic approach and dedication to family empowerment, more children are reunited with their parents, and the bonds that were strained are mended.

Empowering Families

Safe Babies believes in the power of empowering families to complete their services and reunify with their children. Your donation ensures that families receive the necessary support and resources they need to overcome challenges, break the cycle of neglect, and create a safe and nurturing environment for their little ones.

Join the 1-2-3 Club

You can make a meaningful difference in the lives of these families by joining the 1-2-3 Club and supporting the Safe Babies program. Your contribution will help lessen the long-term impact of neglect, increase the likelihood of reunification, and ensure that policies guiding the movement of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system are developmentally informed. Together, we can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Join us today to help us reach our $12,300 goal by 12-31-23!

Post Date | August 30, 2023

Making a Lasting Impact: Join the 1-2-3 Club and Transform Early Childhood Communities

In the heart of every community lies the potential to shape the future. Through our Infant Mental & Early Relational Health (ERH) Awareness work, First3Years is paving the way for stronger family relationships, better child development outcomes, and healthier communities overall.

Understanding Relational Health and Its Impact

Relational Health, a term that encapsulates nurturing early relationships, is the cornerstone of emotional security and developmental advancement

for young children. These connections not only foster physical health and development but also lay the foundation for social well-being and resilience in later life. By supporting and nurturing Early Relational Health, we can make a profound impact on the lives of infants and toddlers.

The Ripple Effect of Supporting Early Relational Health

The positive effects of supporting Early Relational Health are far-reaching and transformative. Health outcomes for infants and toddlers are significantly improved, creating a ripple effect that touches various aspects of their lives. The benefits include bridging health and development disparities, promoting mental health, and crucially, breaking the cycle of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). By focusing on Early Relational Health, First3Years is addressing these critical issues at their root, setting the stage for brighter futures for countless young lives.

The Three Pillars of the Infant Mental & Early Relational Health Awareness Program

1. Community Systems Building: First3Years recognizes that strong communities are the bedrock of a child’s development. Through our Community Systems efforts, we work tirelessly to create locally informed and well-connected early childhood systems. These systems are designed to meet the unique developmental and relational health needs of families, ensuring that no child falls through the cracks.

2. Parental Resources: The ERH promotional tool developed serves as an invaluable resource for parents. This tool equips caregivers with the knowledge and skills needed to foster positive interactions with their young children. By empowering parents with effective strategies, we are enabling families to build strong and nurturing relationships that will have a lasting impact on their children’s lives.

3. Baby Day: Baby Day is a statewide celebration that highlights the importance of the first three years of life. This event provides an opportunity for children and caregivers to participate in activities that promote bonding, social and emotional development, and cognitive growth. By creating a platform for these crucial interactions, we are fostering a sense of community and belonging that will resonate throughout a child’s life journey.

Join the 1-2-3 Club and Be the Change

Every individual has the power to create positive change within their community. By joining the 1-2-3 Club and supporting First3Years’ Infant Mental & Early Relational Health Awareness work, you become an agent of transformation. Your involvement can mean the difference between a child growing up in a supportive environment, equipped with the emotional tools for a resilient future, or facing adversity without the necessary resources.

In embracing the mission of First3Years, you not only make a tangible impact on the lives of infants, toddlers, and families but also contribute to the creation of healthier, happier, and more vibrant communities. Together, we can foster a brighter tomorrow by nurturing the relationships that shape the earliest years of life.

Join us today to help us reach our $12,300 goal by 12-31-23!

Post Date | August 16, 2023

Why Your $23 Matters to Families: Reuniting and Reducing Traumatic Impacts

In a world where compassion and empathy can reshape lives, the power of giving becomes a beacon of hope. Imagine a community where families in crisis receive the support they need to heal and thrive, where neglected infants and toddlers find a safe haven, and where policies guiding child welfare prioritize the developmental needs of the youngest among us. This vision becomes a reality through the transformative work of First3Years and our Safe Babies program.

Safe Babies: A Beacon of Hope

Neglect and maltreatment can leave scars that last a lifetime, particularly when experienced during the critical developmental stages of infancy and toddlerhood. The Safe Babies program recognizes the urgent need to address these challenges head-on, aiming to reduce the long-term impacts of neglect, enhance the chances of family reunification, and promote policies that prioritize the developmental well-being of the youngest members of our society. The Safe Babies program supports and nurtures relationships between birth parents and foster parents. By bridging the gap and providing wraparound support to birth parents, the program seeks to empower families to heal and grow together, ensuring that children are given the best chance at a brighter future.

Creating systemic change requires collaboration, dedication, and informed policies. Safe Babies collaborates closely with stakeholders in the child welfare system to develop and disseminate best practices that ensure services for infants and toddlers are not only developmentally appropriate but also trauma-informed. By advocating for policies that prioritize young children, Safe Babies is shaping a future where no child falls through the cracks.

The Critical Role of Developmental Support

Research has shown that infants and toddlers in the child welfare system are at an increased risk of experiencing developmental delays in social-emotional and cognitive domains. Unfortunately, they are also less likely to receive early developmental screenings that could identify and address these challenges. This lack of support perpetuates a cycle of vulnerability, making these young children more susceptible to the negative effects of their experiences within the child welfare system. The consequences of neglect, maltreatment, and an inadequate support system can be severe and far-reaching. Failing to address the unique needs of infants and toddlers can have a lasting impact on their mental and physical health, affecting their ability to form healthy relationships, succeed academically, and lead fulfilling lives as adults.

Your Contribution Matters

When you donate and join the 1-2-3 Club, you’re igniting a chain reaction of positive change. Your support ensures that families receive the resources and guidance they need to heal, grow, and flourish. Together, we can build a better, more compassionate child welfare system that places the developmental needs of infants and toddlers at its core.

In a world where every child’s potential deserves to be nurtured, your contribution is an investment in a brighter future for all. Join the 1-2-3 Club today and become a beacon of hope for families and children in need. Your generosity has the power to create lasting change and transform lives. Give today for families, for brighter futures, and for a more compassionate world.

Post Date | August 9, 2023

Why Your $23 Matters to Babies: Nurturing Early Development through Professional & Parent Education

Have you ever wondered how your $23 can make a profound impact on the lives of babies? It might not seem like much, but when you understand the importance of early experiences and relationships in shaping a baby’s brain development and future, you’ll realize just how crucial your contribution can be.

**Building the Brain: The Power of Early Experiences**

From the moment a baby is born, their brain embarks on an incredible journey of growth and development. The early years of life are particularly critical, as these experiences lay the foundation for all future cognitive, emotional, and social development. The interactions, relationships, and surroundings a baby is exposed to during these formative years play an instrumental role in wiring their brain circuits, creating neural pathways that shape their abilities and responses throughout life.

**The Role of Professional and Parent Education**

Supporting optimal early relational development is not a task that can be left to chance. It requires a dedicated workforce equipped with the right knowledge and skills. Professional development initiatives targeting those who work directly with infants, young children, and families are a crucial strategy in ensuring that the environment these babies grow up in is nurturing and enriching. Additionally, parents and caregivers need access to this information, as well as continued support to foster growth in their early connections with their babies.

**Meeting the Challenges: Serving Vulnerable Babies and Families**

Not all babies have the same start in life. Vulnerable babies, young children, and families facing chronic adversity often need additional support to overcome the challenges they face. Providing services to these families requires a unique set of skills and understanding, as the hurdles they encounter are complex and multifaceted.

**The Role of High-Quality Training**

To address these challenges effectively, the infant and toddler workforce need access to high-quality training, educational opportunities, and reflective experiences. This is where your $23 comes into play. By contributing to initiatives that provide professional development to those who work with vulnerable babies and families, you’re helping them acquire the tools they need to make a meaningful difference in these young lives.

**Endorsement®: A Step Towards Change**

The Endorsement® program is a testament to the importance of such initiatives. Endorsement® recognizes professionals who have developed the specialized skills and knowledge required to promote healthy infant mental health and early relational health. By supporting programs like these, you’re not only investing in the professionals’ growth but also directly impacting the lives of babies and families they serve.

**First3Years: Empowering Caregivers and Stakeholders**

First3Years is dedicated to ensuring that caregivers and stakeholder systems have access to the latest research and best practices in brain development, Infant Mental Health, and Early Relational Health. Through educational resources, training programs, and knowledge sharing, First3Years empowers those on the front lines of infant care to provide the best possible support for our youngest generation.

**Conclusion: Every Dollar Counts**

In conclusion, your $23 may seem like a small amount, but its impact on babies and their future development is immeasurable. By contributing to professional development initiatives, you’re investing in a workforce that can provide the care, support, and guidance necessary for optimal early experiences. Through organizations like First3Years and programs like Endorsement®, your contribution becomes a stepping stone towards a brighter future for babies, young children, and families facing adversity. So remember, your $23 matters – it matters to the babies whose lives you’re shaping and to the world you’re helping to create.

Join us today to help us reach our $12,300 goal by 12-31-23!

Post Date | August 2, 2023

How does my donation change lives?

By the time a child turns three, 85% of core brain development has occurred. While genetics provides the blueprint for brain development, it is everyday experiences with their caregivers that help to shape how the brain becomes hardwired to learn and interact with the world around them. Research shows that toxic stress & trauma during the early years impact one’s ability to learn, as well as their physical, behavioral, & mental health throughout their life. The global burden of childhood trauma is tragically high, and in the state of Texas alone, 22% of children have experienced 2 or more adverse childhood experiences.

Research has shown that promoting early brain development to support life-long health is dependent on having consistent and nurturing relationships within the first few years of life. Additionally, we know that safe, stable, and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) mitigate early childhood toxic stress and build resilience in children. (Garner A., Yogman M.; 2021)

First3Years’ work aims to enhance the internal capacity of partner organizations to offer families the support that they need to establish or help strengthen their relationship with their infant or toddler; and support families directly by promoting their Early Relational Health knowledge and skills.

Relational Health is used to describe the positive, stimulating, and nurturing early relationships that ensure the emotional security and connection that advance physical health and development, social well-being, and resilience.

When Early Relational Health is supported, we know that health outcomes for infants and toddlers include:
• Improved health and development disparities
• Mental health promotion
• Breaking the generational transmission of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Investment into Early Relational Health programs are vital in changing the trajectory of the babies, toddlers, and their families. That is why First3Years created the 1-2-3 Club. By bringing together our Texas community, we are collectively investing in the future. When you make your $23, $230, or $2,300 donation – you are creating an opportunity for positive lifetime outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.

Our programs:

  • Build awareness of the critical importance of the first three years of life.
  • Enhance the quality of relationships between infants/toddlers and their caregivers.
  • Inform policies and practices that support the healthy development of young children.
  • Educate professionals in best practices.

Join us today to help us reach our $12,300 goal by 12-31-23!