First Year Families: Advancing Attachment and Family Well-Being

Sarah Rafton, MSW
Executive Director, WCAAP

WCAAP’s First Year Families initiative will promote secure attachment between parents and children to establish the foundation for healthy social, emotional, and physical development. We are convening a steering committee of early childhood and family wellbeing leaders as well as a cohort of clinics to participate in a quality improvement learning collaborative.

Steering Committee
The Steering Committee will serve as a broad-based partnership to foster improved systems, policies and investments to promote early relational health, family well- being and early childhood development. Two parent advocates will sit on our steering committee to help shape and inform our advocacy, and also serve as trainers to clinics participating in the learning collaborative. Steering committee members will share our goals of:

  • Advancing the medical homes’ impact on early relational health and family well-being
  • Participating in a common advocacy agenda
  • Increasing collective voices advocating for broader policies to improve family well-being.

The steering committee will bring together multiple perspectives to understand barriers and gaps, and to garner future investments to improve the health of new parents and young children. Convening twice in 2020 and quarterly January 2021 through March 2022, the group will be facilitated by WCAAP and advocacy objectives will be led by the steering committee itself.

Learning Collaborative
Six clinics from Yakima and Pierce counties will participate in First Year Families’ Post-Partum Mood Disorders Learning Collaborative to implement reliable screening of PPMD at 0-6 month infant visits, followed by referral to appropriate resources and community supports as needed. WCAAP staff are currently mapping community resources for parents and facilitating relationship development with allied community partners. By November 2020, clinics will launch their new workflows and monitor progress and efficacy monthly through July 2021. Participating practices will benefit from peer learning and resource sharing across clinic sites, as well as receiving coaching and technical assistance from expert faculty. Clinics will learn how to be more welcoming and safer for families, strategies to build trust across culture and promote health equity at the earliest ages.

Each participating clinic will have two site leads, who will spend about four hours per month over a 9-month period on all learning collaborative activities. We aim to have our clinics enrolled by September and are currently seeking participants. Our kick-off training is the morning of October 16 and the learning collaborative concludes in July 2021.

To learn more about the Steering Committee, or if you have a parent-advocate in mind to recommend, please contact: WCAAP’s Edna Maddalena, at 360-220-7023

To learn more about the Learning Collaborative, please contact: WCAAP’s Tatiana Sarkhosh at  949-275-1618