EYFP is grounded in research that positions youth as members of families who are members of communities. Child development is impacted by the interactions of the youth with each of those layers.
Adverse Childhood Experiences/Adverse Community Environments (both known as ACEs) are traumatic experiences that can negatively impact youth development if left unaddressed. When people are exposed to toxic stress, their bodies undergo physiological changes (e.g., cortisol floods the system). While these stress responses were once critical for survival (e.g., a bear attack), repeated, lasting stress like that associated with ACEs can be dangerous. Indeed, there is a strong relationship between the number of ACEs a person experiences and their long-term health outcomes.
However, research also shows that strong, loving relationships can shield youth from some of the negative effects of ACEs. EYFP teaches families how to tap into and grow these protective factors (social and emotional competence, knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections, resilience, and concrete supports) so that youth and their caregivers are able to thrive.
Our Specialized Curriculum
EYFP is made up of the Powerful Communities and Powerful Families curriculum.
Powerful Communities (PC) is a pilot program written by NC 4-H to equip our participants with the knowledge and understanding about the opioid crisis in the US and in their county. Powerful Communities empowers cohorts of families to resist opioid misuse and to tell their communities what they have learned.
To learn more about our curriculum, click here.