How can families in the most difficult circumstances be supported to give children the best chance to succeed? Federal administrators of the Early Head Start program for young children and families think addressing the sources of toxic stress may be the answer.
“Tackling Toxic Stress,” a multi-part series of journalistic articles planned and commissioned by the Center, examines how policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in the field are re-thinking services for children and families based on the science of early childhood development and an understanding of the consequences of adverse early experiences and toxic stress.
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child created the categories of positive, tolerable, and toxic stress to help describe the body’s stress response and its varied effects on health, learning, and behavior.
Stories in the series describe how broader understanding of toxic stress has affected the programs and strategies of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the federal government, academic researchers, community agencies, and others.