Improving the quality of early childhood education in communities across America has been the focus of my professional career for over 40 years. Ensuring that teaching staff value and know how to use the early childhood setting to promote children’s social and emotional competence is a critical element of high quality care and one that the Devereux Center for Resilient Children resources support. Based on solid research findings, I am a strong advocate for including DCRC assessment and strategy resources in early childhood quality building initiatives. In addition to the quantitative data that documents the gains in children’s social and emotional functioning, conversations with teachers have convinced me that teachers and parents are also being positively impacted by these resources. For programs looking to strengthen their focus on children’s social and emotional health and resilience, the DCRC resources have much to contribute.Kathy R. Thornburg, Ph.D.
I write this letter to indicate my full and enthusiastic support for the collaborative Allentown School District project on social and emotional learning that is being coordinated and led by the Devereux Foundation. Under the direction of Dr. Paul LeBuffe, Director of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, this collaborative project has been highly successful to date. The Allentown Schools have successfully initiated a major transformation in their model of education by infusing social and emotional learning curriculum into grades PreK to Grade 8. Conducting such a transformative curricular innovation is courageous and replete with problems of implementation and support. However, with Devereux’s excellent, consistent leadership this initiative in ending its second year of successful operation.
I must say that of all of the resources that I have been exposed to, the DECA Program is the most exciting; plus, I like the idea that it focuses on prevention and forms a working relationship between the parent and the teacher. Everyone I talk to in Cleveland who knows about this resource says that it works and they just love it.Constance Walker
Rarely have I seen a tool that is dynamically based yet written in language that would be non-threatening to educators and parents. The model of risk factors and protective factors puts teacher-child attachment in the limelight, just where it should be.Lesley Koplow, CSW
The DECA Program has made it possible to promote children’s resilience, provide caregivers with research-based assessment and strategy resources, and track progress for thousands of children across the state. The outcome data confirms that implementation of the DECA Program has been a sound investment for the state of Ohio.Marla Himmeger
It all began with basic DECA Program training and we took that information and ran with it. Years later, we use the DECA Program and the many resources offered through the Devereux Center for Resilient Children to help us promote resiliency in the children we serve, to help us support the child care teachers we work with and to help encourage parents who use our services. Our agency has fully embraced the DECA Program and the resources available have made this all possible. The decrease in behavior concerns reported by our child care teachers and the data we collect confirms the significance of the work we are doing and makes it all worthwhile!Karen Karten
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful opportunity to attend the DECA-Clinical training last week. One of our senior therapists told me afterwards that she felt truly refreshed and reenergized with what she learned. Beyond learning and applying the DECA-C, the trainer was able to show how to implement the tool in both childcare and home settings. She also shared strategies for engaging and sustaining families as well as recognizing the “emotionally evocative” nature of our work. I think it was significant that she came from both an early education and social work (MSW) background and was able to bridge into the therapeutic application of the DECA-C for the children and their parents as well. The other good news is that the scoring is now available through Devreux’s electronic platform (eDECA) so it is likely we will be able to use the tool with greater ease and efficiency. Trainings like these are helping to build the core knowledge that will sustain our Early Childhood Mental Health programs .Your efforts are appreciated!Kristine Snell
Within the Mental Health Sector it can be challenging to find tools that build on the strengths of the individual. The DECA and DECA-C are user friendly tools that make it easy to speak with parents and providers about the needs of children. The gounding in resiliency and the positive social-emotional outcomes we are seeing are having an impact on our program planning and community as a whole. We are so pleased with the DECA program in our Preschool Services we have started to use the DESSA assessment tool for our Early Intervention Program within schools, specifically outcomes within our Tools for Life Relationship-building Solutions Program.Debbie Engel
It has been incredible to see how Devereux Center for Resilient Children resources have helped early childhood educators and parents work more effectively to promote children’s resilience.Grace Whitney, Ph.D.
Partnering with Devereux has been invaluable in expanding our understanding about building resiliency in children and adults in our school community. The diligence, curiosity and intuitiveness with which Paul LeBuffe and his team approach researching and refining SEL assessment tools has benefited Anchorage School District staff and students enormously.Ann McKay Bryson
Using the DECA has allowed the Washington State Department of Early Learning to show positive social and emotional outcomes in our state pre-kindergarten program. This data confirms what I believe the children across this state need…. High quality early childhood programs that focus on children’s social and emotional well-being.Joyce Kilmer
United Way of Greater Cincinnati is working with agency partners to measure social and emotional competencies in youth programs using the DESSA and DESSA-mini tools. The team at Devereux has spent considerable time understanding our project, developing products and supports and consulting us throughout the process. From planning to implementation, we have experienced high quality, professional staff interactions, services and products. Devereux has been and will continue to be a critical partner as we work to better serve children and youth in Greater Cincinnati and strive to achieve the Bold Goals for Our Region.Leigh Ann Luttrell