Defining Toxic Stress from a Community Perspective

By: Scott Johnson

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The Lamoille Family Center and Building Bright Futures Council are partners with eight other communities across the country in the Early Childhood-Learning and Innovation Network of Communities (EC-LINC). EC-LINC is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington D.C. and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. The mission is to support families and improve results for young children in communities across the country with a focus on accelerating the development of effective, integrated, local early childhood systems.

EC-LINC partners have long histories of building effective early childhood systems and share their perspectives and experiences to guide our work and solve common challenges together. EC-LINC works to:

  • Create a “community of communities” that fuels learning and innovation to tackle the toughest shared challenges and demonstrate results.
  • Build and disseminate knowledge about the range of community-based efforts across the country.
  • Develop opportunities for local leaders and state and federal policymakers to work together to accelerate strategies that improve results for children and families.

Over the past year, one of our collective efforts was a Learning Lab on community responses to toxic stress, resulting in this Policy Brief.

“Building on the widely used definition of toxic stress from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, the [EC-LINC] Learning Lab has worked to define what toxic stress is, why it is of concern and how communities can respond.”

The next question for our community to answer is what we will do in Lamoille to ensure all of our children are healthy, nurtured, supported and free of abuse. Please feel free to share your ideas here, or contact Steve Ames or myself.

Scott Johnson: sjohnson@lamoillefamilycenter.org or 888-5229 Ext. 124

Steve Ames: SAmes@BuildingBrightFutures.org or 279-7558.

For more information about the EC-LINC, visit http://www.cssp.org/reform/early-childhood/early-childhood-linc.


Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.

Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.

About the author

Live Well Lamoille
Live Well Lamoille

The Live Well Lamoille blog is a collaborative community effort. We hope you find this blog to be a valuable resource and use it to share information and encourage one another to make healthy choices.