Watch Live Stream on Thursday, November 13! The Future of Evidence: Learning What Works and Why in Social Policy

November 13, 2014
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (ET)

Join a live stream on Thursday, November 13 for a Symposium on the Future of Evidence, hosted by Frank Farrow, Lisbeth Schorr, Joshua Sparrow and the Friends of Evidence at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The event will explore how reform efforts in health, education, social services and community change can become both more accountable and more effective. The deliberations will examine how the growing complexity of social problems and their solutions will require new approaches to generating, analyzing and applying evidence to improve critical societal outcomes and to assure the wise allocation of scarce resources.


Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Former Director, Office of Management and Budget
Tony Bryk, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Hilary Pennington, Vice President, Ford Foundation
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Patrick McCarthy, President, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Preview the Symposium Agenda.

For more information, download the paper: An Evidence Framework to Improve Results

Presented by the Friends of Evidence at the Center for the Study of Social Policy: Susan Bales, Anthony Bryk, Deborah Daro, Frank Farrow, Lawrence Green, John Kania, Nat Kendall-Taylor, Patti Patrizi, Charles Payne, Lisbeth Schorr, Joshua Sparrow

Watch via live stream here.

New Study Shows Head Start Helps Parents’ Education Too

According to a new study by Northwestern University researchers, Head Start programs may help low-income parents improve their educational status. “Studies on early childhood education programs have historically focused on child outcomes,” said study lead author Terri Sabol, an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. “We asked whether there could be beneficial effects for the parents,” said Sabol. The majority of research on Head Start focuses solely on children’s cognitive and social outcomes rather than on the impacts on parents. This study finds that Head Start leads to improved parent educational attainment by the time children are in kindergarten.

This research adds to the evidence base for parent and family engagement, the focus of the Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center.

Drs. Brazelton and Singer to Give Keynote at MassAIMH Event, October 24


Please view this flyer for your invitation to an exciting (and free) event acknowledging the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health (MassAIMH).

T. Berry Brazelton, MD, and Jayne Singer, PhD, will be the keynote speakers.

Friday, October 24, 2014
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Jewish Family & Children’s Services
1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451


Brazelton Touchpoints Center Fall Training Institute: Mental Health Consultation & Professional Development Program for Touchpoints Trained Providers & Leaders

Join us in Boston this October for this exciting professional development opportunity!

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center is offering a two-day training program as a resource for Touchpoints trained mental health practitioners, family service workers, directors, program managers and others working with young children and their families to implement Family Connections and Touchpoints into practice in community settings.

Family Connections, developed with the support of a US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start Innovation and Improvement Grant to Boston Children’s Hospital, provides an evidence-based model for mental health consultation and professional development specifically focused on supporting providers, promoting mental health in young children and working with families facing depression and other adversities.

What participants are saying about the training program:

“Touchpoints gave my ideas and feelings a voice and meaning. Entering the classrooms with the children and teachers has been a joy. But, I have been wondering about direction and methods to be effective with mental health consultation. Thank you for providing exactly those.”

“You have brought me hope, tools & refreshed my enthusiasm to cope with/help in the one area I get most questions around Touchpoints: But what do I do when there are real mental health issues? This has been powerful for me and I can’t wait to share it with others as I know it will help them in the difficult challenges that they face on a daily basis.”

Learn more and register today!

Take Action Today: Nearly 5 Million Children May Lose Access to the Child Tax Credit

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014. Unfortunately, the House Rules Committee added a provision to this bill that will require at least one parent tax filer to have a Social Security number in order to claim the refundable tax credit. If enacted, nearly 5 million children in very low-wage families may lose access to this critical income support. Four million of those children who would lose access are U.S. citizens. The time to take action is now!

Please visit the Half in Ten website to learn more and take action!

Books Are Just a Start: New Huffington Post Blog Entry from T. Berry Brazelton, MD, and Joshua Sparrow, MD

“We applaud the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) new policy statement recommendation that “pediatric providers promote early literacy development for children beginning in infancy” (AAP Policy Statement — Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Practice. June 29, 2014). The policy statement carefully embeds reading in the larger project of early literacy development, and in infants’ relationships with their parents and other caregivers. We want to highlight here a few critical points of the AAP statement, reported on in the front page New York Times story, “Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children from Birth” (June 24, 2014), because books are just a start.”

Read the entire blog entry.

Early Learning Advocacy Conference Call from the National Women’s Law Center – June 13, 2014

Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Register for NWLC’s conference call today.

Early Learning Advocacy Call – Registration Required

Getting our Toes Wet: Learning the Basics of Election Engagement

Friday, June 13, 2014
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

It’s so important that both federal and state level candidates hear that early learning is an important issue to their electorate during this election season. This call will focus on the basics from state advocates with deep experience in work to elevate early learning issues during elections. Speakers will focus topics, including how to put together an initial plan, lessons learned for hosting or co-sponsoring candidate forums on early learning, ensuring media coverage of early learning issues throughout campaign season, maintaining and building relationships with elected officials and making the most of town hall and other events.

Speakers will be:

  • Charlie Bruner, Executive Director, Child and Family Policy Center
  • Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, Rhode Island Kids Count
  • Joan Benso, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
  • Kat Kempe, Senior Policy Advocate, Think Small Minnesota

This announcement is meant to be circulated widely.  If you have a field that you work with or colleagues, who would benefit from tips about engaging elected officials and candidates around early learning, please share this announcement.



The Newborn Behavioral Observations – Summer Training Programs


This summer, we are offering three options for training in the Newborn Behavioral Observations. All three sessions will take place in Boston, MA.

The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) is a structured set of observations designed to help the clinician and parent together, to observe the infant’s behavioral capacities and identify the kind of support the infant needs for his successful growth and development. It is a relationship-based tool designed to foster the parent-infant relationship. The NBO system consists of a set of 18 neurobehavioral observations, which describe the newborn’s capacities and behavioral adaptation from birth to the third month of life. While it describes the infant’s capacities, the NBO provides parents with individualized information about their infant’s behavior, so that they can appreciate their baby’s unique competencies and vulnerabilities and thereby understand and respond to their baby, in a way that meets her or his developmental needs.

The NBO training program will provide participants with the theoretical foundations and clinical principles necessary to enable them to use the NBO system in their clinical practice. Participants will first be exposed to current research on neurobehavioral development and the early parent-child relationship. Then, using film and live demonstrations, the workshop will introduce participants to the kinds of observational strategies necessary to identify newborn behavioral patterns and how to use the NBO as a way of sensitizing parents to the competencies and individuality of their newborn. Clinical guidelines on relationship-building will be discussed and demonstrated, while the workshop will also examine the use of the NBO in anticipatory guidance and demonstrate how this guidance can be provided in a way that is developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive. After the workshop, on-line mentoring will be offered to all participants to enable them to complete the training. A certificate of completion will be offered when this phase has been completed.

Workshops are designed for 20-30 practitioners, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, infancy specialists, lactation consultants, home visitors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers and other allied health professionals. The NBO workshops are held at Boston Children’s Hospital. The NBO and NBO At-Risk training participants are eligible for three Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) through the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Continuing and Professional Education.

Space is limited; register today!

Free Webinar! Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It’s All About Relationships

John Hornstein, EdD, of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, and Rivkah Sass, of the Sacramento Public Library will be presenting a webinar entitled Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It’s All About Relationships on Thursday, April 10 at 3:00 PM EDT.

This webinar, intended for librarians and library staff who interact with families of young children, will orient participants to the Touchpoints approach to child development. The discussion will include identifying the themes of development that operate when parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers bring their children to libraries. We will also examine how libraries can respond to families by focusing on parent-child relationships, and supporting parental mastery.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize developmental themes of Infancy, Toddlerhood, and Preschool
  • Support parent-child relationships
  • Support parental mastery


This webinar, hosted by Infopeople, is free of charge. To find out more and register, visit


Tax Day is Approaching! Share These Tax Programs That Benefit Families

Federal and state tax credits for low- and moderate-income workers can help them keep more of their income to support their families. Research shows that there is a close link between family income and later outcomes, and increasing a family’s income by $3,000 annually over the course of several years can boost children’s achievement significantly.

Please help spread the word in your community about available tax resources, including free tax preparation and filing assistance.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit for working low- and moderate-income individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The Tax Year 2013 maximum credit is $6,044.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a tax credit that can increase the tax refund for families with children under age 17. For Tax Year 2013, the maximum credit is $1,000 per qualifying child.

Download and share this informational flyer from the National Community Tax Coalition. For more information about the EITC and CTC credits, please visit

For free personalized tax help, please visit to find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site near you.

To file tax returns online for free, please visit

For additional information or services in your area. Please contact the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) at or 312-273-1910, or visit their website