Wellspring Family Services’ CEO/President, Ruthann Howell, announced today that the agency has been selected as one of 10 nonprofit human services organizations nationwide to participate in Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities, a three-year initiative of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Norlien Foundation.
“We couldn’t be more excited to join such a diverse group of fellow nonprofit agencies nationwide in the Alliance’s Change of Mind initiative,” said Sandy Lowe, Wellspring’s Chief Program Development Officer. “This presents an opportunity for Wellspring to take a large step forward in integrating and applying brain science findings into our own services and regional policy and funding decisions. Most importantly, it will allow us to better serve children and families in our community – so healthy adults can parent healthy children in thriving families.”
The 10 chosen U.S. nonprofits, as well as five non-governmental organizations in Alberta, Canada, will work toward infusing, aligning, and accelerating established neuroscience discoveries around the effects of life-altering toxic stress into their community-based work. Together they will determine if this groundbreaking science can transform policies to move the needle on some of the most difficult social issues facing communities.
The initiative will demonstrate the larger impactful role of the nonprofit sector as educator, convener, advocate, and true influencer of getting appropriate systems aligned to the science. The initiative will identify, support, and evaluate the processes that the selected organizations will use to align the science with the goal of influencing systems to impact outcomes across the life course.
“The participation of Wellspring Family Services in this exciting initiative shows that there is no more uniquely qualified sector than the nonprofit (non-governmental) to lead larger systems change, by aligning policy, regulatory, and fiscal areas into alignment with the brain science,” said Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance.
For the past two years, Wellspring’s leadership has been exploring the implications of brain science research as it applies to the Wellspring’s mission. Research has shown that traumatic experiences at a young age, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), disrupt critical brain development and put individuals at a high risk for future physical, social, and mental health issues. These findings help explain the root causes of many of the crises that families and individuals experience. Wellspring has begun to translate this knowledge into implementation and internal service strategies, further strengthening the impact of their work with families and children experiencing trauma. Participation in the Change in Mind initiative will accelerate Wellspring’s own progress and allow the agency to spread these proven strategies and science to regional partners, policies, and systems.
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is a national organization dedicated to achieving a vision of a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families. The Alliance works for transformational change by representing and supporting its network of hundreds of nonprofit human serving organizations across North America as they translate knowledge into best practices that improve their communities. Working with and through its member network on leadership and advocacy, the Alliance strives to achieve high impact by reducing the number of people living in poverty, increasing the number of people with opportunities to live healthy lives, and increasing the number of people with access to educational and employment success. Go to alliance1.org for more information.