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Resources in Action

We have gathered stories from across the country on ways that early childhood centers, schools, mental health organizations and other child serving organizations are working hard to advance the social and emotional well-being of children, and how our resources are being used to support that effort and our mission.



Alaska Department of Early Education and Development |The OELA Summit III Parent Involvement Toolkit. A Sampler of Resources, provides synopsis of “proven, carefully selected sources of information of value to parents”, page 7.

Alaska Native Cultural Charter School | Building Student Success through Traditional Cultural Learning. The Alaska Native Cultural Charter School schools uses the DESSA to measure success of its cultural learning program, pages 11-13.

Anchorage School District |Anchorage School District Professional Learning DESSA Webinar Links.

Anchorage School District |Anchorage School District Second Order Change Grant Final Report, September 30, 2012, Ann Bryson.

Data collected over past three years shows moderate to strong relationships between social and emotional competency, as measured by correlation between Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), and measures of academic achievement including Anchorage Standards Based Assessment (SBAs) and TerraNova.

Collaboration for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) |Landscape View: Social and Emotional Learning in Alaska, page 2.

In 2010, ASD and the Devereux Center for Resilient Children presented a study of 1000 Anchorage 8th graders showing that 25% of the variation in math and reading grades can be traced to social and emotional skills – strong evidence that SEL is an effective strategy for raising achievement.

Kenaitze Indian Tribe |FY 2012 Alaska Native Education Dena’ina Qezahda Project, pages 9-11, 15, 16, 19, 21, and 23. Multi-year grant to open a new Pre-School class to address the waitlist for Head Start to provide additional services for K-3 children in a new After School class. Objectives of the grant include maximizing children’s potential to prepare them for success and improve parent/family support for social/emotional and cognitive development in pre-school and K-3rd grade children. In order to meet the objectives staff were to be trained in positive behavior management, screening tools and use of assessment to drive instruction. The DECA and DESSA were to be used as pre-and post-tests measures. Staff were to receive professional training on using assessment data from the DECA and DESSA to plan development of early childhood social/emotional development.

State of Alaska, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Children’s Services |
Infant and Toddler Mental Health. Service Delivery Guidelines, pages 36, 40. This “Early Intervention Guidance for Service Providers and Families of Young Children Referred for Mental Health Concerns” lists the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Infants and Toddlers (DECAI/IT) as one of their recommended assessment tools.

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Arizona Department of Education Early Childhood Consortium|Guidelines for Comprehensive Early Childhood Education Programs. 2nd Edition. Revised 06/02/2008. Assessment Resources, Assessment Tools, page 59.

Arizona Department of Education Early Childhood Consortium Special Education Unit | Help for Early Learning Professionals: A Resource Manual, provides comprehensive information on early childhood special education processes from Child Find, Early Intervention Transitions to Transition to School-Aged Services as children leave early childhood programs to go into kindergarten, page 79, 95.

Navajo Head StartNavajo Head Start – description of services for children and families to include the use of the DECA as a tool to support social and emotional health of children in the program

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Arkansas Department of Education Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education | Arkansas Better Chance Program Manual. Revised April 2009. Developmental Screening, page 39.

Rules Governing the Arkansas Better Chance Program. pages 2,11, and 15. The Arkansas Better Chance for School Success Program serves educationally deprived children, ages birth through 5 years, excluding a kindergarten program. Teachers and paraprofessionals are required to receive training in the DECA.

Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services | Logic Model for SECCS Grant Program. The Arkansas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Statewide Plan, page 1.

Arkansas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Social-Emotional Workgroup | Arkansas’ Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Mental Health, Spring 2014, page 21.

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California Institute for Mental Health Infant, Preschool, Family, Mental Health Initiative | Compendium of Screening Tools for Early Childhood Social-Emotional Development, Social-Emotional Assessment, December 2005, pages 13, 31, and 58.

California Child Health Program, University of California, Department of Family Health Care Nursing | Children with Disabilities and Other Special Needs. First Education 2006, page 5.

California Department of Mental Health | Orange County Health Care Agency Mental Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention Plan, January 2009, page 89.

Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, Community Services Bureau | Strategies for Successful Implementation of Early Childhood Mental Health Services and Social and Emotional Learning Programs at Head Start and Early Head Start, May 2011, Annie Bailey, MS, LMFT, and Lora Groppetti, MA, LMFT, pages 8, 19.

El Dorado County Office of Education |Assessments and Screeners Scroll down to the list of screeners.

First 5 Glenn County |Hamilton City / Orland / Willows Elementary school Districts The purpose of the First 5 Little Learner’s program is to expand the abilities of families, schools, and communities to prepare young children to enter school socially and emotionally ready for learning. The Administration and Kindergarten Staff collaborate with First 5 Little Learner’s staff in assessing and scoring all children entering Kindergarten. The information collected on these DECA (Devereux Early Childhood Assessments) provide each child’s “readiness” upon entering kindergarten.

Los Angeles Unified School District |Implementation of Required Social Emotional Learning for CORE Waiver, page 2.

Marin County Child Care Commission Program Quality Enhancement Committee |Identifying Assessment Tools for Measuring Program Quality by Key Components to Quality Early Care and Education, March 2012

Wested Center for Prevention and Early Intervention |Social and Emotional Well-Being: The Foundation for School Readiness, 2006. Joni Pitcl, M.S. and Elissa Provance, M.S., pages 19, 44.

Riverside County’s Preschool 0-5 Program focuses on social-School emotional development of children and the relationships they have with their family members/caregivers. Children are identified through a screening project utilizing a collaborative team approach between the Public Health Department and the Mental Health Department with the aid of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA).

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Colorado Department of Human Services | Best Practices in Early Childhood Mental Health Services, page 20.

“Screening should not be a one-time activity. Rather, best practice says that children should be screened in regular intervals (every 4-6 months – especially in the first 3 years)… Not all screening tools are equally effective. Tools chosen should be empirically validated instruments. In addition, it is important to determine if the instrument has been validated with the particular population that is being screened… Screening tools used commonly in Colorado include the DECA and DECA-C.”

Colorado Office of Professional Development | Colorado Early Childhood Social and Emotional Interdisciplinary Core Knowledge & Credential, 2010, pages 10,31.

Colorado State Board of Education | Colorado Preschool Program 2009 Legislative Report on use of the DECA to evaluate children’s resiliency, page 9.

Early Childhood Colorado | What Quality Looks Like, page 2.

Early Childhood Partners of Colorado | Information for Providers

University of Colorado School of Medicine, JFK Partners | Early Childhood Mental Health in Colorado: An Environmental Scan of Challenges, Progress and Recommendations for the Social and Emotional Health of Colorado’s Young Children, Sarah Davidon Hoover, M.Ed. and Lorraine F. Kubicek, Ph.D., pages 46-47.

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Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut | Early Childhood Mental Health Resources. How will the doctor or mental health provider be able to identify my young child’s mental health concerns? A list is provided of commonly used screeners and assessments.

Connecticut Birth to Three System, Service Guideline 4:Infant Mental Health, September 2009, on Assessments, page 11.

Wallingford School District | Update from Pupil Personnel Services on use of DESSA.

Connecticut Birth to Three System, FY 2014 Annual Data Report  | Birth to three personnel and professional development of Part C Providers on the DECA for Infants and Toddlers, page 13.

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Delaware Early Childhood Council | 2008 Report to the Governor, Legislature, and Interagency Resource Management Committee, page 22.

Delaware Department of Education, Early Childhood Work Group | Tracking the Progress of Early Success: Ready Children Goal One: Objective 1.4. Every child will have access to social, emotional, and mental health services as needed. 2009, See Ready Children 1.4.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services | Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, 2013, page 45.

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District of Columbia

District of Columbia Public Charter School Board | 2014 Early Childhood Performance Management Framework, Guidelines and Technical Guide, April 2014, page 21.

District of Columbia Early Intervention Program Office of Early Childhood Development
A Resource Guide for Professional Development (by Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development), page 74.

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Broward County Public Schools, Office of Talent Development | Master Plan Early Childhood Education, page 9. The Head Start (HS) Program serves 2,040 three and four-year-old students and their families through a center-based model in 110 classrooms located at 59 elementary schools. Early Head Start (EHS) serves a total of 80 children from birth to three years of age and pregnant women. The DECA is used in all HS/EHS Classrooms with the students. Students who are identified as having concerns receive individualized services and are monitored throughout the year.

Florida Department of Children & Families, Children’s Mental Health Program Mental Health Consultation in Child Care and Early Childhood Settings June 2006 (by Florida State University Center for Prevention & Early Intervention), page 6.

Florida Partnership for School Readiness | Birth to Three. Screening and Assessment Resource Guide. 2004, pages 80-82.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Head Start/Early Head Start | A resource toolbox for M-DCPS Head Start/Early Head Start Teachers

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Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool Longitudinal Study Study Overview. School readiness program (Tutu and Me) was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Hawaii Department of Human Services and the DECA was used to evaluate program effectiveness.

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Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Early Childhood Information Clearing House Building a Healthy Foundation: Social and Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers.

Medicaid Information Release. DECA-C identified as an approved eligibility assessment for Medicaid reimbursement.

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Illinois Department of Human ServicesFY14 DHS/DMH Community Mental Health Provider Manual Functional Standardized Assessments of Consumers paragraph 3.

Lombard Elementary District 44 | Goal #2: Social Emotional Learning.

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 90% or more of all students in District 44, including students in all subgroups, will be performing in the Strength or Typical range on the DESSA/DECA.

Educare and the University of Chicago Charter School| Building a Birth-to-College Model: Professional Learning Communities, a Teaching Case Study, December 2012, page 13. Two schools on the South Side of Chicago join a Birth-to-College Collaborative. Educare, a school for children from birth to age five, and the University of Chicago Charter School which serves students from prekindergarten to grade 12 have created a Professional Learning Community (PLC) in order to demonstrate a model of public education that will prepare vulnerable children for later school success. The DECA and DESSA, used by Educare and UCCS, respectively, assist members of the PLC in developing knowledge and understanding of what socio-emotional development looks like across the birth-to-grade three spectrum.

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SCAN, Inc. Ft. Wayne, INJoan Sherman Program for Resilient Children

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Early Childhood Iowa | National Links: Special Needs/Early Intervention

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Statewide Network | Parent Services Statewide User Manual, pages 43, 47.

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Kansas Children’s Cabinet | Data Collection Toolkit for Cabinet-funded Grantees

Project Eagle University of Kansas Medical Center | Helping Parents Become Interventionists Through the Use of Child Assessment Data

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Kentucky Department of EducationBuilding a Strong Foundation for School Success: Kentucky’s Early Childhood Continuous Assessment Guide, August 2006, pages 2, 3, and 7.

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Educare of Central MaineResearch and Results (under resiliency)

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Maryland Department of EducationEarly Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) Guide: Standards, Rationale and Guidance for the State of Maryland, Page 31, 37, 38, 40, 88 and Appendix 19.

University of Maryland, School of MedicineMaryland’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Evaluation, 2011.  Page 8, 14, and 35.

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The Child Access Program, Framingham, MA. |  Screening and Problem-Solving: Preschool Interventions at Child Access Program in National Council Magazine, 2009, page 34. The Child Access Program is a grant-funded project that currently serves 160 children in three preschools in Framingham, Massachusetts. The program has two tiers.

“The second tier of the model is prevention-based and founded on core principals of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment program. This aspect of the program uses a strengths-based approach to analyzing and problem solving.”

Massachusetts Child Care Resource and Referral Network Internet Resources on Commonly Used Assessment Tools

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) | 2015 Federal Preschool Expansion Grant, Proposal Narrative, page 38.

University of Massachusetts, Donahue Institute | Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System Validation Study, Study Design, page 9.

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Child Welfare Information Gateway Addressing the Needs of Young Children in Child Welfare: Part C—Early Intervention Services, November 2013, page 9. Describes Michigan’s use of the DECA Infant Toddler Assessment to identify social and emotional delays.

Michigan Department of Community Health Division of Mental Health Services to Children and Families Social-Emotional Development in Young Children. Assessment Tools, page 25.

Michigan Department of Human Services Assessment Tools

Mental Health, Behavioral and Developmental Needs of Foster Children, page 3.

Protect MiFamily. Michigan’s IV-E Waiver Project.

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Alexandria School District | Creating Learners Preschool Handbook, page 2.

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Mississippi Building Blocks ProgramSummary of the 2013-2014 Findings

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Burrell Behavioral Health |Moving From Data To Information: The Critical Role of Research & Evaluation in Mental Health

“Results of a study of 122 preschoolers in SW MO show that the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) provided better prediction than the DIAL of which children did well in Kindergarten. However, Math Skills in combination with DECA Self-Control scores explained more than either factor alone.”

Community Partnership of the Ozarks, The EveryChild | The EveryChild Promise Strategic Plan, 2013, page 5.

First Chance for Children.|Overall Evaluation of Ready for School From 2005-2007 received Foundations for Learning grant from U.S. Dept. of Education. The program implemented an innovative, but previously untested, approach for improving the social, emotional, and behavioral skills of at-risk preschoolers. Teachers at six partner preschools were taught how to use the strengths-based DECA approach. A team of independent evaluators found that the children made significant gains on every emotional and behavioral attribute tested, including a significant reduction in the number of incidents of problem behavior.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education-Early Learning Section | Screening Instruments, page 4.

Missouri Division of Behavioral Health | CPR Clinical Treatment Bulletin: April 2014.  Discusses use of DECA-C to determine eligibility for CPR (Community Psychosocial Rehabiliation).

Missouri SWPBS |  Using Data to Provide Feedback for Classroom Level PBS Practices, Slides 21-22.  Using the DESSA Mini for PBIS Data Collection.

Red Wagon KidsReady to Learn City of Springfield, MO Executive Summary, pages 2 and 6.
|Readiness for Kindergarten A Study Conducted by the Mayor’s Commission for Children Springfield, Missouri, July, 2007.

Report concluded: “Children are not simply one-dimensional when it comes to preparedness for kindergarten. Social and emotional development are domains which are conceptually and empirically distinct from broad cognitive development….and…are at least as important as broad cognitive development in navigating successfully the demands and challenges of kindergarten.”

University of Missouri, Human and Family Studies | The Call to End Preschool Expulsion, page 2.

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Montana Office of Public InstructionScreening Instruments at a Glance.

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Nebraska Early Childhood Mental Health Work Group | Understanding Young Children’s Mental Health: A Framework for Assessment and Support of Social-Emotional-Behavioral Health, pages 13-14, 21-23.

University of Nebraska, Interdisciplinary Center for Program Evaluation | A Review of Nebraska Early Childhood Mental Health Initiatives, Pages 20, 25.

Report concluded “Children, who participated in early childhood programs with an emphasis on social-emotional skills, demonstrated significant improvements in social-emotional skills. Children targeted for intervention through mental health consultation made greater gains than children who participated in early childhood education services.”  The DECA and the DECA-P were used for outcome measurement.

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Reno County Headstart and Early Headstart | 2012-2013 Annual Report, page 7.
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New Hampshire

Newport Community Preschool | Program Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Implementation Manual, page 22.

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New York

Center for Children’s Initiatives | Building Bright Futures for Children Newsletter, Strengthening Social and Emotional Development, page 2.

New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program
Using Assessment Tools in The Child Outcomes Measurement Project
Developmental Assessment Tools for Use with Children Birth – 3 Years
Interim List of Development Assessment Instruments

Rensselaer Park Elementary SchoolLocal Assistance Plan (LAP) Diagnostic Self-Review November, 2014, pages 6,17 and 20. School uses DESSA-Mini Assessments on a quarterly basis to track and monitor students with social emotional needs and to explore building level and community level supports.

School Administrators Association of New York StateThe Opportunity New York’s Dignity Act Presents, Fall 2012, page 13.

The Tower Foundation | Pedals Gears Up for a Second Act

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North Carolina

North Carolina Office of School Readiness | More at Four Pre-Kindergarten Program Guidelines and Requirements

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North Dakota

Bismarck Public SchoolsOctober 2013 Newsletter Meet the School Psychologist

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Girl Scouts of Western Ohio2014 Program Effectiveness Survey Results

“We partner with other youth development agencies to use the Devereux Student Strength Assessment (DESSA) in measuring students’ social-emotional strengths, found to be important to academic success.”

Ohio Department of Mental HealthSocial Emotional Screening and Assessment

Ohio Resource Center, Ohio Department of Education | Early Childhood Building Blocks. Best Practices in Assessment in Early Childhood Education, page 3.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Families and Children | Health Care Oversight and Coordination Plan for Children in the Child Welfare System, June 2014, page 6

United Way of Greater Cincinnati United Way releases results of first regional soft skills screen.

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Southern Oregon Education Service District |PBIS Resources, lists resources for implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

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American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter | Resilience Essential for a Successful Life

Pennsylvania Department of EducationPennsylvania Standards for Learning -Assessment and Curriculum, see page 40 for the DECA

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Education | Child Outreach Screening Guidelines

Rhode Island Department of Health | Logic Model for SECCS Grant Program: Successful Start, Rhode Island’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Building Initiative page 3.

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South Carolina

South Carolina First Steps: Team for Early Childhood Solutions, Center for Disability Resources, Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina School of Medicine | BabyNet Transition to First Steps: Report of Technical Teams to First Steps Transition Leadership Team, November 4, 2009, page 7.

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Van Buren County Head Start | School Readiness Report, pages 2, 16-17, 64, 84, and 90.

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Head Start/Early Head Start Region 16 | Mental Wellness Policies, page 7.

Region 7 Educational Service Center | Head Start Teacher Handbook: 2014-15, pages 2, 25.

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University of Utah Student Child Care Center |November 2014 Newsletter

Davis/Morgan/Summit Head Start/Early Head Start And
Title I | Policies and Procedures, page 65 on DECA for Head Start Screening.

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Vermont Agency of Human Services, Children’s Integrated Services (CIS)Guidelines for Using Recommended Psychosocial and Developmental Tools with Pregnant/Postpartum Women and Children Birth to Six , page 10.

Vermont Department of Education Vermont Early Learning Standards Instructors Guide, June 2005, pages 18, 20, 36-40.

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Fairfax County School Board | 2010-2011 Early Head Start (EHS)/Family and Early Childhood Education Program (FECEP)/Head Start (HS) Policy Committee Annual Report to the Fairfax County School Board , pages 4-5.

ChildSavers, Richmond, VA | Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Program.

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Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, Snohomish County2008-2009 Outcomes for Snohomish County, pages 1, 2 and 4.

United Way of Snohomish CountyEarly Learning Initiative

Washington State Department of Early Learning | What is Mental Health?

Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction | A Guide to Assessment in Early Childhood, Infancy to Age Eight, 2008.

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West Virginia

West Virginia West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services | Assessment Instruments Approved to be Appropriate for Screening or Evaluating the Needs of Infants and Toddlers, May 2009, page 7.

West Virginia Legislature | Chapter 49, Article 2E. Quality Rating System, Section 49.2E.3. Creation of Statewide Quality Improvement System

“(E) At least one additional training specialist at each of the child care resource and referral agencies to support new training topics and to provide training for school-age child care programs. Training providers such as the child care resource and referral agencies shall purchase new training programs on topics such as business management, the Devereux Resiliency Training and Mind in the Making”

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Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction PreSchool Options Project | A Short List of Social Emotional Development Resources for Teachers and Service Providers of Young Children

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