Science Fact

Even infants and young children are affected adversely when significant stresses threaten their family and caregiving environments.  Adverse fetal and early childhood experiences can lead to physical and chemical disruptions in the brain that can last a lifetime. The biological changes associated with these experiences can affect multiple organ systems and increase the risk not only for impairments in future learning capacity and behavior, but also for poor physical and mental health outcomes.

Source: The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University Toxic Stress

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Washington Frontiers of Innovation

Washington Frontiers of Innovation (WA FOI) is a partnership established in 2011 between The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and Washington State stakeholders.  WA FOI develops, tests, and refines program level and system and policy level science-based portfolios of activities targeting improved outcomes for at risk and vulnerable children, youth and families.  Our aim is to re-envision early childhood investment to stimulate creativity and support experimentation in order to produce significant, population-level change.

Science tells us that we need to protect young brains from adversity to help them thrive in school and life. Working together toward our goal of reducing poverty in Washington State by 50% by 2025 allows us to create an upward spiral of possibilities to help ensure every child is able to achieve their full human potential.

-- David Stillman, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Social & Health Services Economic Services Administration