Prevention science addresses individual and societal problems before they develop and encourages a wellness approach to positive childhood, adolescent, family, and community outcomes. Employing this approach, FRONTIER will lead efforts to inform decision makers as to what practices are most effective and cost beneficial to ensure that all children and adolescents have an opportunity to lead healthy and successful lives. Applying a prevention mentality, FRONTIER will focus on several areas of concern, such as mental and behavioral health, racial equity, education, poverty, juvenile and criminal justice, environmental influences, and adverse social conditions that contribute to major behavioral, mental, and chronic physical health problems that originate in childhood and become compounded in adulthood.
Evidence generated by prevention science, neuroscience, developmental psychology, education, epidemiology, and other related fields should be used to inform educational, mental health, and public health policy decision-making. FRONTIER creates channels for communicating with policymakers (e.g. written materials including policy briefs, fact sheets, and white papers; and interpersonal interactions such as congressional and state-level briefings, in-person meetings) about cross-cutting research and best practices generated by FRONTIER members.
By sharing this knowledge with policymakers, we hope that our research will have a significant and lasting impact on child development, family functioning, and community scaffolding. Ultimately, this will be accomplished through the uptake of policies that enable wide-scale adoption and implementation of effective practices by community and child/adolescent-serving systems such as education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and health care.
FRONTIER will support the activities of FPG’s Policy Division, directed by Dr. Robin Jenkins. Mutual goals are to translate and communicate scientific findings to inform effective federal, state and local policies with potential to exert population level effects. This collaboration will facilitate our ability to respond rapidly to the needs of policymakers in areas where research has clearly established linkages between the quality of our children’s environment and experiences with later mental, behavioral and physical health outcomes.