- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University - https://developingchild.harvard.edu -

Innovation in Action

Within the Frontiers of Innovation [1] (FOI) network, researchers, practitioners, and community members co-create and evaluate new ideas in a diversity of project settings.

The work of FOI is guided by the theory that we must build the capabilities of adults [2] in order to achieve significant outcomes for the children in their care. These same capabilities also enhance adults’ employability and increase the economic and social stability of the family, thereby further reducing sources of family stress. Expanding adult capabilities also improves their capacities as caregivers, enabling them to help young children build effective coping skills to overcome adversity and strengthen the foundations of lifelong resilience [3]. Building on this evolving theory of change [4], we view the communities in which families raise children as important contexts for designing and testing new strategies for enhancing protective factors and reducing identified sources of toxic stress [5] that impose enormous burdens on parents of young children.