Dr. Constance Helen “Connie” Keefer – the Compleat Pediatrician

By Kevin Nugent, PhD, Founder and Director of the Brazelton Institute

Brazelton Touchpoints Center faculty member Dr. Constance Keefer retired earlier this year after a half century of advocating for the health and well-being of young children and their families across the world. In this tribute, Dr. Kevin Nugent honors Connie’s passion, commitment, never-ending curiosity, and indomitable spirit. 

Dr. Connie Keefer with a young patient.

Dr. Constance Helen “Connie” Keefer has worked for 52 years in the field of pediatrics. She wanted to be a doctor from the age of four, impressed as she was by the power of the doctor who came to their house to heal and cure and bring solace to her and to her family. This sense of calling to help others was sustained by the moral values instilled in her by her parents so that after she graduated from Allegheny College, it was with a kind of inevitability that she went on to apply and was accepted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School to study to become a doctor.

As a medical student, Connie was torn between a career in psychiatry and pediatrics.  Drawn initially to psychiatry, she made a decision to go to London to the Anna Freud Centre at the Hampstead Clinic to study psychoanalysis. Attending the weekly case study sessions led by Anna Freud, Connie was impressed by how Freud integrated direct observation with knowledge emerging from observations of the child in the consulting room. It was this emphasis on the importance of observation in understanding child development that led Connie back to the field of pediatrics. Returning to New York, she studied under pediatric neurologist Isabelle Rapin at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This was a transformative experience and confirmed for Connie the importance of observing children’s behavior in pediatric practice as the key to understanding the relationship between neurology and child development.

After graduating from medical school in 1969, Connie went on to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland for an internship in pediatrics. She studied under two of the great pioneers in the field of pediatrics and neonatology, Marshall Klaus and John Kennell, whose research on mother-infant bonding was empowering mothers and was in turn changing the practice of newborn care across the world. This was another life-changing experience for Connie. as she was able to enter into the world of newborn babies and observed how these two giants in the field treated both babies and their families in the newborn nursery with such respect and compassion. This also gave her a new understanding of the parent-infant relationship and how that understanding could be integrated into her everyday care of newborns and their parents.

Encouraged by Klaus and Kennell to come to Boston to learn more about babies, Connie became Chief Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1970–1972 and “almost accidentally, chanced upon Berry Brazelton” at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). Berry Brazelton had just founded the Child Development Unit and established a Fellowship program for pediatricians, designed to enable pediatricians to learn more about newborns and typical child development, something hitherto neglected in pediatric education. As she listened to Berry’s detailed descriptions of baby behavior, it must have resonated with the words written by her father, Fleming Orrin Keefer, in his observations of his own children, in one of his poems titled, “Sleeping Children”:

“Now is the time for reflection, standing in the darkened doorway,

Marvelling at the innocence of these inert forms,

Brushed with the patina of blessed childhood,

Damp-forheaded, partly lipped

Purity and serenity sculptured in living flesh.”

Connie knew immediately that this baby-centered, family-focused model of pediatric care was what she was searching for and she was accepted by Berry as one of the first Fellows at the Child Development Unit (CDU) in 1973. Berry’s teaching philosophy — inspired by Jerome Bruner at the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard University —focused on creating a space that allowed everyone to ask and answer questions while encouraging critical thought, a place that could be an “intellectual retreat.” In this setting, Connie was exposed to primary research, complemented by placement experiences interviewing pregnant mothers and observing newborn nurseries and community daycare centers, where she was able to refine her capacity of “empathic listening” and relationship building as a defining characteristic of her role as a pediatrician.

After her two-year fellowship at the CDU, she was invited by Berry to stay on as a faculty member. Her research on culture, parenting, child development, and newborn behavior was soon published in scholarly journals, and she contributed textbook chapters on development, cultural issues in behavior and development, on the shy child, and on the nursery care on the newborn. She went to Kenya to study the behavior of Gusii infants and this interest in cultural differences led her to China and many other countries where she taught pediatricians about newborn behavior and development and introduced the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale to physicians across the world. She was also an inspirational mentor and it was the good fortune of many students — I was one of them in the 1978 — to have been guided by her into the world of the newborn infant — an invitation that was to irrevocably shape the future of my professional life and the lives of many others over the years.

After this long intensive period in her career as a researcher, teacher, and faculty member, Connie decided to review and reevaluate her life choices and she made the momentous decision to take a “leave of absence” from the academic world to consider other possibilities. The most dramatic change was when she married Habib Tayarani, which led her on yearly visits to Iran to meet Habib’s family. During this time, she also returned to her great interest in music and literature, reading and writing, resumed playing the flute, and joined an ensemble. By now, Connie was ready to move into the world of community pediatric practice and for the next 11 years, she practiced pediatrics in Cambridge, working face-to-face with infants and families. So many parents, including my wife Una and I and our children Aoife and David, who had only just arrived in the United States, were fortunate to become her “patients” and were privileged to be listened to and enveloped in the caring, affirmative, and respectful care that characterized her approach, such that she is an integral part of our own family story and undoubtedly is embedded in the family stories of thousands of families to this day.

In the 1990s, Connie served as Director of the Newborn Nurseries at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and directed the Healthy Connections Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, a perinatal intervention program. She also became Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Knowing how Connie understood how residents and medical students needed to learn more about newborns and the care of newborns as part of their training, Dr. Judith Palfrey, Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, invited Connie to develop a curriculum for pediatric residents. As part of the new curriculum, Connie developed the PEBE, an innovative examination for pediatric practitioners, which combines the usual “head to toe” sequence of the physical examination with the observations about the baby’s behavior that reflect developmental capacity and the baby’s individual style. In 2001, Connie mentored fellow pediatrician Lise Johnson as successor in the role of Director of Well Newborn Care at BWH, ensuring the continuation of the same infant-focused, family-centered approach begun by Connie, which served as a “best practice” example of continuity of care and exemplified the same kind of passionate relationship-based care in Newborn Units around the world.

At around the same time, Connie was invited by Berry Brazelton and Josh Sparrow to join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at BCH as Senior Faculty. She brought her extensive experience in pediatric practice, clinical teaching, and cross-cultural research to her Touchpoints faculty role. She saw how the Touchpoints approach could inform pediatric residency training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Asa  teacher and mentor, Dr. Keefer’s lucid, engaging, insightful approach reached trainees across the world and confirmed the importance of relationship-building in their work with families by keeping the focus on the baby and on the relationship.

Connie has been as an integral part of the  Brazelton Institute since its inception. Along with Sue Minear, Lise Johnson, Yvette Blanchard and myself, Connie played a critical role in testing and developing the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system to become the evidence-based tool it has become today. The focus of the NBO is frankly on relationship-building and is now used in settings around the world to help parents understand and appreciate their newborn infant and, at the same time, is designed to help the pediatric practitioner develop a partnership with the parents around the baby’s behavior. Connie is an author on the NBO Handbook, Understanding Newborn Behavior and Early Relationships, and had a central role in developing the training curriculum and has been engaged in training, teaching, and mentoring right up to the present moment.

Throughout her career, Connie has been an evidence-based optimist, animated by a moral, even utopian, purpose. She imagines a more just and equitable society and believes that without better health care services for parents and infants from the very beginning, it is impossible for people to claim other fundamental human rights. If one might find a hidden emotional spine to all her work, it is that policies that support families are critical, as the strength and quality of the relationship between caregivers and their children are fundamental to the effective development of children’s brain functions and capacity. In terms of her academic leadership throughout the time, Connie has always been a public intellectual to her bones. In this, she is a champion of those who experience the brunt of inequality, poverty, and discrimination and is committed to supporting the development of policies, resources, and optimal environments for children. Moreover, she believes that preventive intervention in the first years will result in much higher economic returns later.

In his book, To Be a Doctor, Felix Marti-Ibanez, writes, “To be a doctor, then, means much more than to dispense pills or to patch up or repair torn flesh and shattered minds. To be a doctor is to be an intermediary between man and GOD.” I feel  exceptionally privileged to have been Connie Keefer’s colleague and friend for almost half a century. Indeed, my colleagues and I at the Brazelton Institute describe Connie as simultaneously wise, empathic, open-minded, honest, kind, non-judgmental, culturally humble, enthusiastic, optimistic, and validating. She inspires total confidence in parents, and daily renews the magical relationship that by itself constitutes good treatment for any kind of ailment and the best starting point for confronting all causes of pain and suffering. Although so many virtues are difficult to find in a single human being, such combinations can be found in Connie Keefer across her 52-year practice. Indeed, I can end this account of the career of Dr. Connie Keefer, our colleague and friend, by echoing the words of her poet father, Fleming Orrin Keefer, in one of his earlier poems:

“Our gratitude wells up in us,

No full heart e’er spoke neatly,

And though our tongues prove traitorous,

Our hearts pay tribute to thee.”

Dr. Connie Keefer — the compleat Pediatrician!

Ad multos annos!

Brazelton Touchpoints Center Announces New Partnership

Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) is pleased to announce a partnership with California-based WestEd, a leader in improving learning and healthy development at all stages of life. BTC will deliver comprehensive professional development programming to early educators throughout the state of California. Following a competitive application process, First 5 California (F5CA), also known as the California Children and Families Commission, awarded WestEd a contract through which BTC will train more than 1,600 stakeholders in family engagement strategies, with a goal of building individual and organizational capacity to better serve children and families.

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience from its signature intensive family engagement program, Touchpoints, BTC will collaborate with WestEd to develop and deliver evidence-based training and resources that help early educators integrate proven family engagement strategies into their interactions with parents and families.  This training will enhance the capacity of early educators and organizations to build strong relationships with families, deepen their understanding of the issues facing young children and parents, and integrate innovative care and engagement strategies into their daily practice. In addition, by using a train-the-trainer model, the partnership will certify 125 family engagement trainers who will deliver ongoing professional development throughout California, further bolstering the long term impact of this project.

“Through this collaborative partnership, BTC and WestEd will catalyze and strengthen early education by building the skills of individual educators, while enhancing organizational capacity and creating systemic impact through new knowledge, evidence-based practices, and extensive support infrastructure such as virtual peer communities and an on-line resource library,” said Dr. Joshua Sparrow, Director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center. “As a result, children and families across California will benefit from these investments in early education, creating transformational change in communities throughout the state.”

About the Partners:

Brazelton Touchpoints Center

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center was founded in 1996 by T. Berry Brazelton, MD, and colleagues, and is based in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. A pioneer in the field of child development and pediatrics whose keen insights and observations fundamentally changed the way we understand and approach child development and family engagement, Dr. Brazelton’s work continues today, embodied in the Center that bears his name. Working together with families, providers, and communities, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center develops and applies knowledge of early childhood development to practice and policy through professional and organizational development, evaluation, advocacy and awareness, and serving as a resource for proven practices. Since 2010, BTC has been the home of the Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. More information on our programs can be found at www.brazeltontouchpoints.org.

WestEd

As a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency, working in education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad, WestEd aims to improve educational and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults. More information about WestEd and its innovative work can be found online at www.wested.org.

ABOUT First 5 California

First 5 California was established in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 programs and resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and caregivers in the critical role they play during a child’s first five years – to help California kids receive the best possible start in life and thrive. For more information, please visit www.ccfc.ca.gov.

 

Register Today!Fatherhood Connection Webinar Series, May 25-June 22, 2017

Fatherhood Connection Webinar Series, May 25-June 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 – Join the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement for the Fatherhood Connection Webinar Series. This three-part webinar series focuses on effective fatherhood engagement. It also supports program efforts to be more intentional about engaging fathers to promote children’s learning and development and strengthening the parent-child relationship.

 

Program Environment and Strong Family Partnerships

In this first webinar, consider what fathers experience when they walk into an early childhood program. What do they see, hear, and feel? Presenters will discuss relationship-based strategies and share effective ways to engage fathers. Find your starting point in making improvements to program environments.

 

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Making program environments more welcoming to fathers through the physical space and staff attitudes and behaviors
  • Applying relationship-based practices to support strong partnerships with fathers

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

3-4 p.m. EDT

 

Join the Chat After the Webinar!

4–4:15 p.m. EST

 

Who Should Participate? 

This webinar will benefit an array of audiences, including: Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care directors, managers, and parent leaders; T/TA providers; and other early childhood leaders who support child and family progress.

 

How to Register

Space is limited. Select the link to register for the webinar and chat: https://events-na11.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1092484587/en/events/event/shared/1636273223/event_landing.html?sco-id=1636232324&_charset_=utf-8

 

 

Questions?

To learn more, please contact us at pfcewebinars@ecetta.info.

 

About NATIONAL CENTER ON PARENT, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

NCPFCE, jointly administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC), supports family well-being, effective family and community engagement, and children’s school readiness. The Center focuses on training and technical assistance and resource development for early childhood state systems/administrators and their networks; and early childhood programs and providers. It promotes staff-family relationship building practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive; integrated and systemic family engagement strategies that are outcomes-based; and consumer education, family leadership, family economic stability, and individualized support for families. Our partners include the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (lead), Child Care Aware of America, Center for the Study of Social Policy, and Child Trends.

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center Celebrates National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and Mental Health Awareness Month!

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health from birth, which is essential to a child’s healthy development. The theme for 2017 is “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” The focus is on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults who experience mental or substance use disorders.

Through our professional development program offerings—Family Connections, Touchpoints, and the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO)—BTC empowers both “Help and Hope.”

Family Connections is an early childhood mental health consultation and professional staff development program of Boston Children’s Hospital that supports early childhood and home visiting programs in their outreach to families facing mental health challenges, particularly parental depression.

BTC also offers a blend of both Family Connections and the Brazelton Touchpoints approach to working with children and families to support social and emotional development and well-being and relationship building.

Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO), provided through the Brazelton Institute, housed at BTC, supports children’s mental health from the day of birth.

Learn more about our professional development offerings, and visit our calendar for upcoming opportunities to participate.

 

Free Webinar: Engaging Families and Creating Trusting Partnerships to Improve Child and Family Outcomes

Enhancing Trusting Partnerships at the Systems and Practice Levels: 
Reciprocal Opportunities for Professionals and Families

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017
3:004:00 pm EDT

 

Register Online Now!

Join the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) for the second session in a four-part webinar series. The series aims to help early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) systems leaders build staff capacity and work with families to develop trusting partnerships. In the second session, staff from ECTA, DaSy, and guest presenters will focus on the nature of trusting partnerships among professionals and families. This series will run monthly through June 2017.

 

Topics for the webinar include:

  • The six research-based partnership principles
  • A review of the practices that professionals and families should demonstrate when implementing the principles
  • Tools for measuring partnerships and family engagement

 

Presenters:

  • Staff from the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement
  • Early Childhood Partners from Iowa

 

Who Should Participate?
This webinar will benefit an array of audiences, including: EI/ECSE state staff (e.g., Part C and 619 coordinators, professional development and technical assistance staff), EI/ECSE family leaders, and IDEA State Interagency Coordinating Council and State Advisory Panel representatives; and Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care national and state leaders; and other early childhood leaders and stakeholders committed to strengthening family-staff collaboration in programs that serve young children with developmental delays and disabilities, and their families.

 

How to Register
Select the link to register: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1XO0PTKdaLPnEu9

 

Questions
To learn more, please contact the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center at ectacenter@unc.edu or call 919-962-2001.

 

Webinar: Getting to the Bottom Line of Family Engagement

Engaging Families and Creating Trusting Partnerships to Improve Child and Family Outcomes: Getting to the Bottom Line of Family Engagement

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

34 p.m. EDT

Register Online Now!

 

Join the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) for the first session in a four-part webinar series. The series aims to help early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) systems leaders build staff capacity and work with families to develop trusting partnerships. In the first session, staff from ECTA, DaSy, and guest presenters will discuss family engagement at the systems level. This series will run monthly through June 2017.

 

Topics for the webinar include:

  • The meaning of family engagement
  • A review of key policies, frameworks, and the DEC Recommended Practices on family engagement
  • The essential role of systems supports for ensuring local implementation of effective family engagement practices

 

Presenters:

  • Christina Kasprzak, ECTA Center, DaSy Center
  • Ann Turnbull, University of Kansas (retired), University of North Carolina (adjunct)
  • Rud Turnbull, University of Kansas (retired), University of North Carolina (adjunct)
  • Joshua Sparrow, MD, National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE)

 

Who Should Participate?

This webinar will benefit an array of audiences, including: EI/ECSE state staff (e.g., Part C and 619 coordinators, professional development and technical assistance staff), EI/ECSE family leaders, and IDEA State Interagency Coordinating Council and State Advisory Panel representatives; and Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care national and state leaders; and other early childhood leaders and stakeholders committed to strengthening family-staff collaboration in programs that serve young children with developmental delays and disabilities, and their families.

 

How to Register

Select the link to register: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6nxy4ZCLU49GNet

 

Questions
To learn more, please contact the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center at ectacenter@unc.edu or call 919-962-2001.

Debra Sosin, LICSW, Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

We are proud to announce that Debra Sosin, LICSW, project director for Family Connections, has received the Distinguished Alumni of the Year award from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. The award was presented at the Diversity + Justice and Alumni Awards Conference at Boston College on Friday, January 27, 2017.

You can learn more about the award here.

2016 in Review – NBO and NBAS Achievements and Milestones

The Brazelton Institute, under the direction of J. Kevin Nugent, PhD, has published a report entitled “2016 in Review – NBO and NBAS Achievements and Milestones.”

The report can be read here.

Huffington Post: Economic Medicine For Lifelong Health

In the 60 years since I (TBB) first started practicing pediatrics, medical science has made many advances possible. Today’s doctors have access to new vaccines and surgical procedures that we could only dream of when I started out.

Yet science has also revealed that raising healthy children requires more than the latest medical treatments. When children grow up in poverty — as over one out of every six in the United States do (Wimer, Fox, Garfinkel, Kaushal, and Waldfogel, 2013) — the experience can have dire consequences.

Babies born poor face lifelong consequences for health, mental health, and success in school and in life. Asthma, obesity, diabetes, and learning disabilities are just some of the challenges that children who grow up poor are more likely to face (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015). And they are far more likely to remain poor as adults (see for instance, Greenstone, Looney, Patashnik, and Yu, 2013). This means that their babies, too, are at higher risk of being born — and dying — poor.

The challenges that children living in poverty face are profound and unfair. Americans of every stripe know that babies don’t choose the circumstances they are born into. And they don’t choose the lifelong consequences of childhood poverty either.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Congressional Baby Caucus and Brazelton Touchpoints Center Respond to Opioid Crisis in July 12 Briefing

Communities Can Improve Outcomes for Drug-Exposed Infants and their Families

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 11 July, 2016 – On July 12 from 12-1:20 pm, the Congressional Baby Caucus will host a briefing to highlight innovative approaches to caring for infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a growing public health threat stemming from our nation’s opioid crisis.  The briefing will be held in Room 2103 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, from 2000 to 2012, the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (drug withdrawal resulting from exposure to addictive opiates during gestation) quintupled, increasing to nearly 22,000 babies in 2012.   Even more startling is that these levels do not contemplate the explosion in opioid usage experiences over the past several years.

The briefing will focus on innovative approaches that reduce costs and improve outcomes by emphasizing parent inclusion and empowerment in the treatment of these high-risk infants.  Briefing speakers include –

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Dr. Matthew Rogers Grossman, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Associate Director, Pediatric Residency Program; Medical Director, Short Stay Unit; Interim Quality and Safety Officer, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.  His innovative approach to engaging parents in care of NAS newborns has reduced average hospital stays from 28 days to 6.

Dr. Joshua D. Sparrow, MD, Director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston Children’s Hospital and President, Brazelton Touchpoints Foundation.  For the last 20 years, Dr. Sparrow, a child, adolescent, and general psychiatrist, and the Center have worked deeply and for the long haul in community systems – health care, early education, home visiting, child welfare, libraries, schools and more – to develop strengths-based, trauma-informed services that improve outcomes for children and families.

The Honorable Katherine Lucero, Supervising Judge, Juvenile Justice Court Division, Santa Clara, CA, and co-creator of innovative therapeutic court programs including the Family Treatment Court and the Dependency Family Wellness Court.  These approaches have resulted in significant improvements in the lives of children and families, and reduced costs to the foster care, health care, and court systems.

About Brazelton Touchpoints Center

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center was founded in 1996 by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and colleagues and is based at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Together with families, providers and communities, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center develops and applies knowledge of early childhood development to practice and policy through professional and organizational development, evaluation, advocacy and awareness and serving as a resource for proven practices.  Dr. Sparrow says that, “For twenty years, the Touchpoints Approach has been used by family-facing professionals and institutions around the country to partner with parents of infants and young children.  When parents are struggling with the effects of poverty, trauma, substance abuse and other mental health challenges, health care, child welfare, education and other professionals turn to the Touchpoints Approach to partner with families to find and build on their strengths.”

About FIRST 5 Santa Clara and the Family Courts

The Santa Clara County Courts partnered with FIRST 5 Santa Clara to help end the cycle of families appearing and re-appearing before the courts with substance use and mental health challenges that resulted in the removal to foster care of multiple infants and children.  As part of these reforms, the Touchpoints Approach was implemented as a foundation of practice across the system of care.  To date, Santa Clara County has 565 service providers, including the court and child welfare systems, who practice Touchpoints.

Jolene Smith, CEO of FIRST 5, explains, “We partnered with the dependency and child welfare systems because we wanted to impact the intergenerational cycle of children born to parents who experience trauma and struggle with substance abuse, many of whom are former foster youth themselves.”  In discussing drug court practices, she states, “ In general, most of the drug treatment courts have been adult focused.  We have the opportunity, and more importantly, the responsibility, to shift the focus to a child-centered approach.”  The result of the collaboration among agencies and with the courts has been a dramatic improvement in child and family outcomes, including reduced time spent in foster care; improved mental health and substance treatment compliance and outcomes; reduced number of subsequent NAS babies born to program participants; and reduced costs to social programs.  Touchpoints training was an important driver in these outcomes, as it built knowledge and skills to support families and their children.   Smith points out that, “Over 90% of Touchpoints participants reported that Touchpoints training resulted in an increase in their ability to engage and build positive relationships with the children and families they serve; broadened their perspective to see parents/caregivers as experts on their own children; and developed an enhanced understanding of the importance of reflective practice to strengthen relationships with children and families.”
Full News Story: http://pressreleasejet.com/news/congressional-baby-caucus-and-brazelton-touchpoints-center-respond-to-opioid-crisis-in-july-12-briefing.html