Elisabeth Babcock, president and CEO of the Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), believes that the foundations of lifelong physical and mental health are built in early childhood. A stable, responsive, and well-regulated environment promotes the healthy development of the brain, other maturing organ systems, and metabolic regulatory systems. An unstable and poorly regulated environment triggers excessive activation of stress response systems that increase the risk for lifelong impairments in both physical and mental health. If we want to improve the life prospects of children living in poverty, developmental science suggests that we need to transform the lives of the adults who care for them.
In this brief, Babcock presents a compelling model for achieving that transformation by successfully augmenting and building the core adult capacities and skills needed for both successful parenting and achieving economic and family stability.