Family Partnership

Positive Connections Help Families Thrive

How Early Relational Health Supports Families

Families are the reason that Nurture Connection exists. In our work to elevate the importance of young children and their parents and caregivers, the wisdom of families of every kind cannot be overstated. Children’s parents and caregivers play the most powerful role in society in their ability to encourage emotional health via connection with their children from birth.

Parents and caregivers are our experts for helping create healthier communities, one family at a time. We must listen to families without bias and assumptions to understand their concerns about their children’s needs. Their beliefs and culture must be respected. Those who work with families must see the strengths that families bring and remember that there is much we can learn from them. 

Building Equity-Driven Parent Collaboration

The “Building Equity-Driven Parent Collaboration” framework builds upon the wisdom and learnings from various community partnerships and resources centering parent collaboration with an additional emphasis on equity, informed by the previous work of Sherry Arnstein, Rosa Gonzalez, and Anthony Burrows. In the coming months Nurture Connection will share additional thinking and background on this framework designed by Bryn Fortune as part of her role as the Coordinator of the Nurture Connection Family Network Collaborative.

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Parent Perspective

“These are the three most important things we can do to support parents and caregivers at the community level so they can better connect with their babies and toddlers:

  1. Advocate for the services families need.
  2. Develop and deliver those programs based on families’ needs while respecting and acknowledging their strengths as the most competent caregivers to ensure their children’s well-being.
  3. Partner with community resources that can meet the families where they are at such as healthcare centers, daycares, libraries, churches, laundromats, etc. These partners are very important in facilitating the information that supports the emotional connection between them and providing the opportunity for the families to practice what they’ve learned.” —Nurture Connection Family Network Collaborative Parent Leader
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All Families Value Connection

We see wisdom in every culture and every family about the important bonds of love and child and caregiver connections. Early Relational Health honors and celebrates that long-held wisdom and the ways these connections look and feel across families, communities, and cultures.

To ensure parents and caregivers have the opportunities to show up as their babies’ and toddlers’ most capable and trusted caregivers, we must remove all obstacles they may face to building strong and enduring positive connections with their children in the most important years of their development. When we accept, appreciate, trust, and support parents and caregivers, they feel valued as individuals and partners. 

Parent Perspective

When a family knows they have medical insurance for both the mother and baby for the first year of life, it allows them to feel more peaceful. Not having insurance after the baby is born could impact your family finances and potentially your child’s access to medical care, adding additional stress for the family. Relationships shouldn’t depend on having insurance, but the impact can affect their well-being.— Nurture Connection Family Network Collaborative Parent Leader

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We Will Succeed Only When We Partner with Families

Our work starts with listening to families. Parents and caregivers must be valued, respected, and supported by communities and systems in their role as guardians and caregivers. We must deeply and empathically understand the challenges they are facing. Only they can know which supports and services would work best for their needs.

They must be trusted to make the best choices for their families in every circumstance. Most important, their cultures, traditions, and generational histories must be viewed as a source of strength and wisdom to promote strong, positive, and nurturing connections.

Parent Perspective

“The best way for a doctor to promote ERH is by living it and demonstrating the importance of building emotional connection in the way you listen and talk to the families you serve. Do you want to encourage parents and caregivers to find everyday moments to emotionally connect with their babies? Role Model it for the families. Never underestimate the power of your actions when you are a trusted partner with the families you serve.” — Nurture Connection Family Network Collaborative Parent Leader

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The Family Network Collaborative Parent Leaders Share Their Thoughts

One reason that Early Relational Health (ERH) concepts are catching fire is because the growing Nurture Connection movement through its commitment and focus on family partnership is being guided by the wisdom and expertise of parents.

A Conversation with the Family Network Collaborative >

Nurture Connection Is Creating Meaningful, Sustainable Change

To make our vision a reality, all of us who are deeply invested in the health and well-being of children and families must come together with our most expansive ideas for advancing relational health and emotional connection to build equitable and transformative strategies.