OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
We have learned alongside our Community Partners as they have faced challenges, overcome barriers, and achieved extraordinary successes. Find out more about each project and the outcomes below.
Giving Babies the Foundation to Succeed
Mainspring Schools is a best-in-class nonprofit preschool that eliminates the early childhood school readiness gap. Their mission is to deliver the highest quality early education and care to Austin’s most economically disadvantaged children – along with services so each child and parent have tools for success in school and life.
The grant will focus on the crucial early stages for at-risk children and their families. The goals of the multi-month intervention program are to identify toxic stress and prevent impaired brain and physical development. The grant will fund a full-time licensed therapist to develop and implement a parenting boot camp for Mainspring families to include pregnant moms, infant moms, and all newly enrolled moms.
Funding from Impact Austin created a two-generation CRASH program (Creating Resilient, Attached, Supported Homes) that focused on the positive actions families can take to increase flexibility and create a strong buffer against adversity. Mainspring hired a licensed mental health clinician (LMSW) as Mainspring’s new Family Services Specialist to research, develop, and implement the CRASH program. Participants provided feedback after each round of the Prenatal and Infancy CRASH Courses. The Family Services Specialist used that data to adjust subsequent CRASH Course curriculum. Through this process, she created a thorough and thoughtful facilitation guide for other organizations and outside social workers who are implementing similar early-intervention programs. The social worker also provided therapy to families as needed, and she connected families to services as appropriate.
Mainspring Schools did encounter challenges as they worked:
The pandemic interrupted in-person evaluations, with babies and toddlers particularly at-risk to COVID. Thus initial services were offered virtually, rather than in person.
It was difficult to recruit families outside of Mainspring to participate in the beneficial program. Even outreach to the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.
Mainspring made efforts to share the CRASH curriculum, disappointed to find few organizations able to take on the work due to budgetary restraints (to go beyond their existing services) and/or a focus on school-age children.