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For professionals working in child-serving settings, as well as for the parents/families of those they serve.

  • Dialogue around early childhood education, social-emotional health and resilience
  • Success stories from programs and centers utilizing the DECA Program suite of resources
  • Tips and guidance from our team of early childhood specialists
  • News on training and resource development, and more!

4 Ways You're Already Promoting SEL - or Ways You Can Start Doing So

March 6, 2023

We can imagine that social and emotional learning (SEL) has become a big focus in your work because children seem to be needing even more support to engage in healthy social dynamics and cope with emotions in constructive ways. Adding more SEL to your already expansive to-do list probably feels like one thing too many. We are here to thank you for what you are already doing and to offer a little hope in knowing that SEL does not have to be “one more thing.” SEL can be about making the most of everyday, ordinary moments with children. It doesn’t have to be about adding to your list, but rather, finding the social and emotional learning in what you’re already doing.

– Rachel Wagner, MSW

Establishing Connections with Young Children

February 13, 2023

Establishing connections with young children is so important, and we’d say especially important when they are babies, toddlers, or preschoolers! Here are some points to consider as you work on that relationship building.

– Tammy Barrows

Big Conversations with Little Children

July 20, 2022

Children throughout the country are facing mounting mental health issues, and parents and educators need to tend to children’s social and emotional well-being, primarily by being fully present and knowing how to engage in challenging, age-appropriate discussions, even with toddlers. Young children need guidance to make sense of the world even with topics that are difficult for parents.

– Dr. Lauren Starnes

Live Today Well

August 10, 2021

I deliver a keynote message which carries this same title. During my keynote address, I try to use humor and practical experiences to help the audience understand the importance of doing what you can with the time you have. Life is ever changing, and sometimes things seem grim. I encourage you to control what you can. You may wish to start by taking a few of the following suggestions to live today well…

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

Promising New Research Findings On the Impact of Social and Emotional Feedback

March 31, 2021

Several research studies have shown that the DECA Program does improve young children’s protective factors, and the promising new research findings from a 2020 peer-reviewed journal article offers further support that the simple process of providing teachers with “social and emotional feedback” about the children in their classrooms is a valuable intervention. Check out DCRC Director Susan Damico’s summary of the study and how it truly does support the DECA Program.

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Widen the Lens This SEL Day

March 17, 2021

The importance of this year’s International SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) Day theme, “Building Bonds, Reimagining Communities,” cannot be underestimated. As Americans confront the devastating consequences of racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic, we must acknowledge that a brighter future depends on all of us bonding together, and reimagining a future for our communities that is different from the past.

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Holiday Traditions during COVID

November 18, 2020

Traditionally, the holidays are a time for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the season and make lasting memories. While this year’s festivities may look a bit different due to COVID-19, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Director Susan Damico says that doesn’t have to stop you and your family from finding creative ways to make the season special.

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Mental Health Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 22, 2020

In this blog series, DCRC Director Susan Damico, M.A., discusses the mental health effects of the pandemic on children, educators and families. She also offers a few strategies to help all of us get through these challenging times … together.

Effects on Children

Effects on Educators

Effects on Families

– Susan Damico, M.A.

One BIG Family

May 27, 2020

The DCRC Team is glad to have this blog post entry from The SOURCE – Elkhart County’s System of Care. They have put together this brief social story for those children still attending childcare, helping them understand what’s going on while also reassuring their safety and the safety of their “School Family.”

– Darlene Radcliff & Shin Yee Tan

Comparison Can Be Cruel: One coping strategy does not fit all

April 21, 2020

Everyone wants to be helpful, and everyone has great ideas. So do you really need another reminder to breathe; practice gratitude; create structure; go outside; connect with ones you love; read; meditate; journal; set boundaries; exercise; laugh; and be gentle with yourself? My answer is “yes,” – and “no”!

– Rachel Wagner, MSW

Grow Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

March 20, 2020

From the time a baby is born until they establish themselves as adults, many parents are at least a little concerned with how intelligent their child will be (I know I sure do!). While it is important that children learn their ABCs and 123s, and pass college entrance exams, developing a child’s emotional intelligence is an aspect of our child’s development that we must consider in an ongoing, intentional manner.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

Don’t Miss the Moments: Slow Down and Take Time to Listen, Laugh, and Learn with Your Children

February 25, 2020

If you are a parent, we often feel as though there is never enough time in a day to complete all of the tasks on our to-do-list and take care of our children and families. We might want to think about the message we are sending our children as we hurry through our days without taking time for each other.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

Tips for Being Present, Not Perfect This Holiday Season

December 17, 2019

To help ward off the stress of the season, Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., offers tips for families to slow down and focus on being present, not perfect.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

Let’s Spark a Revolution

November 26, 2019

In Spring of 2018, the DCRC team read the book, The Deepest Well: Healing from Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, by Nadine Burke Harris. Prior to reading this book, I certainly had some knowledge about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study and ACEs. Burke Harris’s stories and experiences as a medical professional and practitioner in a high-risk neighborhood in San Francisco, CA brought my understanding to a whole new level.

– Debi Mahler, LCSW

Family, Feelings, and the Resilience they can help build

November 5, 2019

My mom and I were talking recently about my daughter’s development. She was wondering if I thought Madison (who is 4 years old) was ready for kindergarten. Lately, we have seen her become a lot better at letter and sound recognition. We are now working with her on her numbers … it’s a brutal process! To say that she is not interested would be an understatement.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

The Beauty of Simple Interactions

October 22, 2019

My colleague, Nefertiti Poyner, was invited to speak along with a very prestigious group that put a laser focus on the unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes for Black women in the United States. The personal stories of loss were heartbreaking, and the statistics surrounding maternal health for Black women were eye-opening…

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Resilience Onward: A Great Resource for K-12 Educators

September 24, 2019

For those of us who have chosen careers that focus on promoting the well-being of young children, we know how quickly the years go by. We also know that the work we do to promote children’s resilience in early childhood needs to carry onward into elementary school. 

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Resilience, Race, and Preschool Expulsion

July 9, 2019

I have been working in the field of early childhood resilience for over 20 years. For as many of those years, I have been tormented by the epidemic of preschool expulsion. In my late 20s, my first real social work position was in an expulsion preschool, where we served children who had been dismissed from at least three other preschools become coming to us.

– Rachel Wagner, MSW

Bright Horizons and DCRC Partner to Develop the Resilient Leadership Training Series

May 14, 2019

he Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) team often speaks about the importance of the “Resilience Cascade” or the “Resilience Connection.” This notion highlights the point that promoting resilience in children requires that we also pay close attention to our own social and emotional well-being, as well as the overall resilience of our team members and work environments.

– Susan Damico, M.A.

When Moral Distress is Present, Moral Resilience is Necessary

May 7, 2019

Moral resilience also involves cultivating self-regulation and self-awareness to recognize when integrity is threatened. With this foundation, we are better able to name the ethical problem, inquire into the facts and determine the action that supports integrity.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D.

Celebrating 20 Years of Resilience

April 23, 2019

I feel tremendous pride as I reflect on the positive impact the DECA Program has had on children (millions have been assessed), families and communities (tens of thousands of professionals have been trained) these last 20 years. I am equally proud of the role Devereux has played in elevating the nation’s focus on young children’s social and emotional health.

– Susan Damico, M.A.

Think and Act in the Name of Prevention

March 19, 2019

In a time where there never seems to be enough time, I challenge us all to think critically about the environments, skills and experiences that all children need to be successful in school and in life. When we think and act in the name of prevention, we can have a huge impact on the lives of young children, the people they are to become, and the world we all share!

– Debi Mahler, LCSW

Future of America Learning Center: Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Key to Success

November 12, 2018

The nonprofit Future of America Learning Center (FALC), which provides educational programs, child care and youth activities to children of a local healthcare workers union, and to those from the broader community, made a commitment to the implementation of the DECA Program more than 10 years ago. 

– Joscelyn Paine

Focusing on Togetherness During the Holidays

November 12, 2018

I feel tremendous pride as I reflect on the positive impact the DECA Program has had on children (millions have been assessed), families and communities (tens of thousands of professionals have been trained) these last 20 years. I am equally proud of the role Devereux has played in elevating the nation’s focus on young children’s social and emotional health.

– Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., & Joscelyn Paine

Capital District Child Care Council & the DECA Program

May 15, 2018

The Capital District Child Care Council (CDCCC), located in Albany NY, serves six counties in the Capital region and Mohawk Valley. The Social Emotional Development Services team works directly with the DCRC staff and resources to provide quality social and emotional support to communities across counties.

– Kimberly Polstein, LMSW

Interested in contributing?

Here at DCRC, we are always eager to learn about YOU, the people who utilize our tools and resources. We would love to hear about how you and your program are using what’ve got, as well as how it has impacted the children with whom you work, their families, and even YOU!

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