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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3381.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 5:42 PM

Abstract #113209

Building organizational capacity to support early childhood development--- The role of community mobilization: Findings from a multi-site evaluation of Early Head Start

Ann Zukoski, DrPH MPH1, Tisa Fontaine Hill, MPH, and Sharon Rosenkoetter, PhD3. (1) Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, 254 Waldo Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-6406, 541-737-3832, ann.zukoski@oregonstate.edu, (2) Human Development & Family Studies, Oregon State University, 14 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-5102

Community mobilization is a topic of growing interest to health promotion professionals who understand the need of involving communities in collectively identifying resources, needs and solutions to address public health issues. This paper will present findings from a multi-site case study of 6 federal Early Head Start (EHS) Programs who used community mobilization strategies in their efforts to support the healthy development of infants and toddlers enrolled at their sites. These EHS programs participated in a national demonstration program, StoryQUEST, designed to improve emergent literacy skills of young children (ages 0-3) in high risk communities. Based on an ecological framework, the STORYQUEST program sought to improve developmental outcomes for three groups: infants/toddlers and families, EHS caregivers and programs, and their surrounding communities. Using empowerment theory as a conceptual framework, data was collected examining how EHS sites built their capacity to address these program goals. Sites were followed over a two year time period. Data collected included in-depth interviews with 3 members from each site (program staff member, parent, and community representative), focus groups, interviews with program administrators, project reports and local coach reports. 3 researchers conducted content analysis of data. Findings indicate that use of community mobilization strategies enriched EHS organizations internal and external capacity to address infant and toddler needs in multiple ways. Themes will be presented illustrating how EHS agencies use of community mobilization strategies helped build social and environmental supports and resources for families. Study implications for practitioners and researchers will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Involvement,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Understanding and Mobilizing Communities and Coalitions

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA