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Adverse childhood experiences and community environments have a lasting and detrimental impact on health and development and contribute to inequities in educational, health, and economic outcomes. Community-based strategies to prevent and mitigate childhood adversities have long-term benefits to individuals, families, and society. Yet success is often elusive for population-level efforts to reduce social inequities, and even the success stories often lack evaluation data and prove difficult to reproduce.


Building a culture of health that ensures all children grow healthy and strong and creates opportunities for them to prosper requires a paradigm shift that considers how adversity impacts child wellbeing. A critical step in this effort is improving the capacity of local communities and their networks. Innovative approaches to link community- and state-level efforts and promote synergy can expand the reach of existing programs, catalyze new solutions, and multiply the scale and impact of effective approaches.


Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) focuses on improving the capacity of local communities and their networks to prevent and mitigate adversities and promote wellbeing by aligning systems and institutions, transforming community context, and optimizing neighborhood opportunity structures.

The NOW Innovation Forum serves to promote shared learning and networking across the field by bringing together resources, stories, discussions, innovations, and other interactive tools in a central hub, to connect communities across the country that are working to ensure all children and their families achieve optimal health and wellbeing.

Through this online platform, users will be able to:

  • Connect with and learn from community coalitions, local leaders, practitioners, advocates, and other stakeholders who are leading innovative efforts to align early childhood, education, and health systems to advance equity

  • Understand the impact of childhood adversity and adverse community environments on wellbeing

  • Share examples of local innovations and strategies from their own communities

  • Build community capacity in key levers of community change, including how to:

    • Utilize equity tools

    • Develop inclusive, family-centered coalition structures, decision-making processes, and governance structures

    • Mobilize broader community engagement and foster authentic community leadership

    • Utilize data and storytelling tools to monitor progress, measure benchmarks of success, and communicate with diverse stakeholders and policymakers

    • Plan for sustainability to further strengthen and scale systems-transformation efforts

  • Access a wide range of resources and tools to further spread, scale, and sustain local efforts

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