Back to BCEs – Strengthening Families through Benevolent Childhood Experiences

Back to BCEs – Strengthening Families through Benevolent Childhood Experiences

Having studied Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for many years, Dr. Angela Narayan, an assistant professor in the clinical child psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver, felt like the field of child abuse prevention research was missing half the story by not also considering the impact of positive childhood experiences.  

Today, Dr. Narayan and the Promoting Resilience in Offspring and Targeting Early Childhood Trajectories (PROTECT) Lab at the University of Denver are leading a research effort focused on Protective Factors. The PROTECT Lab and their efficient yet effective methodologies for research and clinical purposes are working to assess the richness of behaviors, relationships and representations in parents and children – with a particular interest in instruments that can assess resilience processes in ethnically-diverse families.

One line of their work focuses on developing and validating the Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCEs) scale, a 10-item checklist of favorable childhood experiences, relationships and resources that was first created and published by Dr. Narayan and colleagues in an article titled “Positive Childhood Experiences Predict Less Psychopathology and Stress in Pregnant Women with Childhood Adversity: A Pilot Study of the Benevolent Childhood Experiences Scale” (Narayan et al., 2017, Child Abuse and Neglect).

Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCEs) are a counterpoint to ACEs, particularly useful to those in community mental health, pediatric and primary care screening and home visiting programs. After accounting for demographics and ACEs, this research has shown higher levels of BCEs significantly predict lower levels of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. This research also found that when someone experienced ACEs and not BCEs, there was evidence of aggressive behavior, alcohol abuse and substance use.

This BCEs research has highlighted “the pregnancy period as an opportune window to help buffer the transmission of trauma in families who are at risk for various types of adversity,” said Narayan during her keynote at the 2020 Strengthening Colorado Communities and Families Conference. The BCEs Screening Tool to build resilience in children and families’ lives features ten simple questions found to be culturally sensitive and applicable across a variety of demographic and socio-economic audiences.

If people working with children and families begin to incorporate the FREE BCEs screening tool, there is great potential to prevent child maltreatment and future chronic health problems, mental illness and substance misuse in adulthood, found to be present in the lives of adults who experienced a high number of adverse childhood experiences.

Dr. Angela Narayan

Dr. Angela Narayan

Assistant Professor, University of Denver

Dr. Angela Narayan is an assistant professor in the clinical child psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver.

Narayan directs the Promoting Resilience in Offspring and Targeting Early Childhood Trajectories (PROTECT) Lab at the University of Denver examining the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience from parents to children, with a particular focus on the perinatal period as a window of opportunity to buffer the transmission of trauma and promote resilience in both mothers and fathers, and their children. 

Strengthening Families Network

Illuminate Colorado coordinates the Colorado Strengthening Families Network, hosting a quarterly online learning community for professionals across sectors to stay on top of new research and best practices related to the protective factors.

Join the network to get invites to meetings and connect with others to share your work and learn from communities all across Colorado.

Strengthening Families Network Meeting

Monday, November 1, 2021

9am-11am

Virtual

Strengthening Families Network Gets Back to BCEs

Dr. Narayan will join the November 1, 2021 Strengthening Families Network meeting to deliver a refresher on the BCEs tools, share new findings and provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss with peers how this research can be incorporated into the work they are doing with families to increase Protective Factors. During the November meeting, Dr. Narayan is also planning to discuss a conceptual framework for understanding intergenerational prevention strategies for deterring ACEs in families. Those who attend the meeting will have an opportunity to visit with Dr. Narayan in a smaller online setting, which will allow for questions and scenario work to improve application of how incorporating BCEs can strengthen families.

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Keynote Presenters for SCFC Conference Announced!

Keynote Presenters for SCFC Conference Announced!

Illuminate Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is hosting the 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Virtual Conference, which will be held September 28-30.

There will be a fantastic lineup of national and statewide experts presenting at the conference this year, and we’re excited to announce these incredible keynote presenters:

      • Jerry Milner & David Kelly: “Strengthening Families Through Primary Prevention”
      • Corey Best: “Hearts, Minds and Humanity—An anti-racist approach to authentic partnerships”
      • Angela Narayan: “Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCEs) as a Counterpoint to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Research, Practice, and Policy”

Read more about the keynote presenters below.

Jerry Milner

Jerry Milner is the Associate Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau. He has worked in child welfare at county, state and federal levels, and in the private sector for over 40 years. Prior to returning to ACF, he served as the Vice President for Child Welfare Practice at the Center for the Support of Families, where he assisted state and local child welfare agencies in evaluating their child welfare programs, and designed and implemented improvements in practice, policy and procedures. Jerry was also the state child welfare director in Alabama. He worked previously in the Children’s Bureau to implement and manage the Child and Family Service Reviews of state child welfare services programs.

David Kelly

David P. Kelly, JD, MA, serves as Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.  For over a decade he oversaw CB’s work with state and tribal courts and the legal community.  Prior to joining the federal government, David was an Assistant Staff Director at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and a Senior Assistant Child Advocate at the New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate. He began his career as a staff attorney at the Youth Advocacy Center of Covenant House New Jersey where he represented homeless, runaway and at-risk youth on a variety of legal matters and led the organization’s policy initiatives, he later became the Center’s Director of Legal and Clinical services.

Corey Best

Corey B. Best is first, a dedicated father.  He is originally from Washington, DC and currently calls Florida home.  This is where Corey began his transformation into adaptive leadership training, community organizing, authentic family engagement, race equity, anti-racism, pre-crisis support and highlighting “good enough parenting” for those impacted by the child welfare system.

Mr. Best is commonly known as leader and skilled facilitator that brings his professional experiences to life by activating group thinking and guiding sustainable child welfare system advancements.  His innovative style and approach led him to receiving the 2016 Casey Family Programs Excellence for Children’s Award.  Most recently, he has helped to spearhead an authentic family engagement pilot through the lens of race equity. This work has allowed Corey to take leadership the next level.  His perspective is that a leader must have a set a values and behaviors that embrace differences, shared power, and social contribution to see lasting changes within our communities.

Corey is Certified in the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Fund’s Bringing the Protective Factors to Life in Your Work. In addition to several speaking and technical assistance opportunities, he proudly serves as an active member Board member with Alia.  His role has also morphed into a Professional Guide for the Alia Innovation Cohort.   Corey has also mobilized countless communities to intentionally share power, while infusing perspectives of constituents in practice and policy changes that directly impact communal wellbeing.  In short, Corey’s mission is to positively influence the lives of children, families, and communities through curating emotionally safe and racially equitable relationships.

Angela Narayan

Dr. Angela Narayan is an assistant professor in the clinical child psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver (DU). She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received her Ph.D. in clinical child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and completed a predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Child Trauma Research Program at UCSF. Dr. Narayan’s research lab at DU examines the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience from parents to children, with a particular focus on the perinatal period as a window of opportunity to buffer the transmission of trauma and promote resilience in both mothers and fathers, and their children. Dr. Narayan is also a licensed clinical psychologist in Colorado and serves as a clinical supervisor and instructor of several core courses in DU’s clinical child psychology doctoral program.

In addition to the keynote presenters, we’re also thrilled to bring a great group of breakout speakers to address important topics from these five tracks: Innovation Space, Working Together to Maximize Resources, Anti-Racist Practice, Supporting Workforce Care, and Best Practices.

To learn more and register for the conference, visit the website today! [2020 CONFERENCE REGISTRATION CLOSED]

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Registration is Open for the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference!

Registration is Open for the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference!

Illuminate Colorado and the Colorado Department of Human Services are excited to encourage everyone working with children or families in Colorado to register for the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference for FREE today!

Visit scfcconference.org to learn more about this virtual event on September 28-30 to connect with one another and participate in this joint collaboration across the family support continuum, from prevention and public health through restoration and child welfare systems and services.

GO TO THE CONFERENCE WEBSITE!

The schedule for this virtual conference is being finalized, but don’t wait to register today to enjoy a great line-up of presenters and explore the following topics areas:

  • Innovation Space,
  • Working Together to Maximize Resources,
  • Anti-Racist Practice,
  • Supporting Workforce Care, and
  • Best Practices.

GO STRAIGHT TO REGISTRATION! [REGISTRATION FOR THE 2020 CONFERENCE IS CLOSED]

Want to help spread the word about the conference?

Here are some resources to help you do that! When you’re posting about the conference, be sure to share the link to the website and add your own personal message, so people know why you’re excited about the conference.

    Conference Flyer – Download HERE

    Conference Social Media PromosDownload HERE

    Topics Image – Download HERE

    Conference Banner Image – Download HERE

    Sample social media language

        • Registration is open! The VIRTUAL 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference is Sept. 28-30. Learn more at SCFCConference.org.
        • If you work with children or families in Colorado, this virtual conference is for you! Register today at SCFCConference.org.
        • Ready to be inspired? Want to hear what other professionals are doing to make lasting impact? This FREE virtual conference is for you! Learn more at SCFCConference.org.
        • Can’t wait to hear about these topics at the 2020 SCFC Conference: Innovation Space, Working Together to Maximize Resources, Anti-Racist Practice, Supporting Workforce Care, and Best Practices. Check out SCFCConference.org to learn more!

    Questions about the conference? Contact Karen Acosta-Corona at kacostacorona@illuminatecolorado.org.

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    Call for Session Proposals for Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Virtual Conference

    Call for Session Proposals for Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Virtual Conference

    The planning for the 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Virtual Conference is well under way and we couldn’t be more excited! This conference is an important opportunity to highlight ways to build protective factors that prevent child maltreatment and bring together learners from diverse backgrounds and professions from across Colorado, including professionals with varied levels of content knowledge.

    As we continue to finalize details for the conference, we are still seeking session proposals to address the following areas: Innovation Space, Working Together to Maximize Resources, Getting to Anti-Racist Practice, Supporting Workforce Care, and Best Practices. Each session has the flexibility to range from 15 to 75 minutes. There is also the option to do prerecorded sessions, which will be available on the conference website.

    If you, or someone you know, is interested in presenting virtually or submitting a prerecorded presentation at the 2020 SCFCC, please fill out this brief form. This is currently an ongoing submission, but we are asking you fill it out sooner, rather than later. Please feel free to share this form with colleagues.

    Below, you will find descriptions for each topic track. If you are submitting a proposal for more than one track, you will need to make two submissions.

    Innovation Space – As agencies and organizations had to shift how they were conducting business prior to COVID-19, there have been a tremendous amount of lessons learned and innovative solutions to adjusting to the world post-COVID. Communities and organizations have begun collaborating in new ways to meet the needs of families. Do you know of an example where agencies, organization and/or communities innovated in their work with children and families as a result of COVID? What are the lessons learned? What are you planning to continue, and why? What shifts in practice took place? 

    Working Together to Maximize Resources – How does collaboration in your relationships with partners to maximize resources in your work. This could include concrete resource sharing, funding, or receiving referrals? Examples could include shifts in practice or new collaborative partnerships. 

    Getting to Anti-Racist Practice –   How do we actively prioritize anti-racism in our relationships, communities, workplaces and systems? How do we sustain and institutionalize that change? What conversations need to happen to recognize the things that make us uncomfortable and how are we actively seeking change? 

    Supporting Workforce Care – Recognizing that self-care can look very different from one individual to the next, this bucket will address how self-care is important all of the time, but especially in light of COVID, and certainly vital in light of an anti-racist movement. These sessions can provide an opportunity to practice self-care; discuss techniques or activities for individuals, families, and workplace environments; as well as other opportunities for taking care of ourselves.

    Best Practices – Since the last time we met in 2018, there have been many new best practices established. Examples could include any work in the field that has advanced the strengthening of families and promotion of the protective factors. 
     

    If you would like to submit a proposal please fill out this form.

    Questions? Contact Karen Acosta-Corona at kacostacorona@illuminatecolorado.org.

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    The 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference is Going Virtual

    The 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference is Going Virtual

    Given public health guidance on large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Illuminate Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is excited to announce that the 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference will be held virtually September 28-30, 2020.  There will be more information to come on the new format soon! 

    This conference is an important opportunity to highlight ways to build protective factors that prevent child maltreatment and bring together learners from diverse backgrounds and professions from across Colorado, including professionals with varied levels of content knowledge. 

    The Conference Planning Committee is currently seeking submissions to address the following areas: Innovation Space, Working Together to Maximize Resources, Getting to Anti-Racist Practice, Supporting Workforce Care, and Best Practices. Submissions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. 

    For more information, and to submit a proposal in one of these areas, please complete this form

    Please continue to save these dates and subscribe to be the first to learn when registration opens in the next couple of weeks!

    The 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference is Going Virtual

    Deadline to Submit Proposals Extended for Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference

    Illuminate Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, will host the 2020 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference in Pueblo, CO from September 28-30, 2020. 

    The deadline to submit proposals has been extended to April 25th, by 5 p.m. Proposals must be submitted using the electronic form at www.illuminatecolorado.org/scfc2020conference. [SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED]

    The 2020 conference, highlighting ways to build protective factors that prevent child maltreatment, will host up to 800 learners from diverse backgrounds and professions from across Colorado, including professionals with varied levels of content knowledge. The Conference Planning Committee is looking for engaging and interactive workshop sessions from individuals and organizations passionate about the work they are doing with children, youth and families. Download the Call for Proposals Announcement for a list of potential topic areas to learn more.

    PS. Join us throughout April to celebrate #greatchildhoods and Child Abuse Prevention Month. April 3rd is national #Wearblueday. Plus, join partners from across Colorado at the Child Abuse Prevention Month launch on April 7 at 9 a.m.

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