After a thoughtful and productive RFP process, the TMW Center is pleased to announce the selection of Palm Beach County, Florida as our partner site for our first community-wide roll out. Over the course of the next 12 months, we’ll work closely with Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County (The Council), to strategize how to embed TMW’s integrated suite of evidence-based interventions within already existing health, education and social service systems. Program implementation, starting in birthing hospitals, followed by pediatric clinics, and community-based organizations, is slated to begin fall 2019. Our five-year goal is to reach at least 60 percent of children birth to age three and their families living in the community.
We received a number of impressive proposals from diverse communities across the nation all doing amazing work. To guide the selection process, TMW Center leadership used clearly defined criteria, including a capacity to work across existing systems, a commitment to long-term progress, clear community stakeholder engagement, and sustainable funding streams. A history of impact and an expressed desire to partner were also essential.
Palm Beach County beautifully fit all of these criteria. In addition to the size and make-up of its population, Children’s Services Council stood out for its longstanding commitment to partnering with families, agencies, and tax payers to provide and support high-quality services and vital infrastructure for its youngest children. We were compelled by its historical and sustained commitment to providing data, staffing, and training infrastructure to its community partners. Finally, the Council’s data-driven approach, specifically its efforts to support, evaluate, and innovate service delivery is a model for the field, and is well-aligned with TMW Center’s feedback-driven innovation cycle.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Palm Beach County and the Council,” says TMW Center Co-director Dana Suskind, MD. “We share a belief in the important role parents play in their children’s foundational brain development. That belief – and a commitment to partnering with others and using science to learn what works and what doesn’t – will guide our joint efforts in the coming years.”
As passionate scientists, we are committed to using science and data to guide us in this process. We understand the importance of scaling interventions that are both feasible in the real world and reflective of the needs and desires of the community.
“Our community-wide demonstration project is an interesting mix of use and learn,” says John List, TMW Center Co-director. “On the one hand, we will use frontier science to provide programs at scale in Palm Beach County. On the other hand, we will learn from the project by gaining greater insights into the threats of scalability through our community wide roll out. A true win-win for the science of using science.”
At the end of five years, we expect to have developed a community model that demonstrates that it is possible to achieve population-level change in parent and caregiver behavior to optimize children’s early brain development, and what it takes to accomplish this. This project will be a foundation for learning that will inform future partnerships as we continue to expand the reach of our programs.