Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes

Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes


This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children's lifelong learning, health, and behavior.

Launched in May 2011, Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) focuses on the work of a community of more than 400 researchers, practitioners, policymakers, philanthropists, and experts in systems change from across North America. The goal of FOI is to bring about substantially greater positive impacts for vulnerable young children whose needs (or the needs of their caregivers) are not being fully met by existing policies and programs. To do that, FOI seeks to spur the field by forging cross-sector collaborations that prompt creativity, support experimentation, and learn from experience.

FOI’s work draws on science, including advances in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences, to:

  1. identify reasons why children’s development stays on track or goes off course;
  2. devise theories of change about how to produce better outcomes; and
  3. design and test new intervention approaches and measure their effectiveness in reducing barriers to learning and strengthening lifelong physical and mental health.

Stated simply, the FOI community views current best practices as a promising starting point, not a final destination.

Learn more about Frontiers of Innovation of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University :

VIDEO: Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change