Community Capacity Building: Say what??

The MFLN consists of several concentration areas including Community Capacity Building (CCB). But many people wonder…what is CCB? What do those words even mean? Our FDEI team began to explore this idea through the lens of early childhood special education (ECSE) and early intervention (EI), and we discovered not only what the term means, but also how it can be used as a force multiplier for young children and their families in the Family Readiness mission.

CCB is often defined as “people who feel a sense of shared responsibility and apply their strengths to achieve desired results” (Mancini & Bowen, 2014). Ultimately the goal of CCB is for both informal and formal support systems to work together to achieve positive result for members of the community.

In the field of EI/ECSE, the desired result of our community (professionals and families who work together on behalf of young children with disabilities) is to see children learn and grow to their full potential through nurturing, enriched relationships with caregivers.  The informal supports within this community are parents, caregivers, extended family, friends, and other individuals who interact with the child in relatively intimate relationships. Formal supports include YOU – the EI/ECSE professional! This symbiotic relationship between informal and formal supports for children is a force multiplier that enhances outcomes for children. Like a rock thrown into a pond,CCB has a ripple effect that spreads wide and deep.

As an ECSE/EI professional, you are in the position to equip caregivers with skills and knowledge to nurture a child’s growth and development. And FDEI is here to help you do just that. Community Capacity Building at its best: All of us using our strengths to achieve desired results. When one part of this formula is missing, the capacity of all decreases…so let’s work together to achieve remarkable outcomes.

Created by R. DiPietro-Wells; Images from pixabay.com CC0
Created by R. DiPietro-Wells; Images from pixabay.com CC0

How can we help support you? What kinds of information do you need to help support the military families you serve? What questions do you have? What resources do you need? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below or email us at MFLNFDEarlyIntervention@gmail.com.

You can learn even more about CCB and access an online training to increase your understanding of CCB here.

This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on TwitterYouTube, and on LinkedIn.

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