Red Cliff Project LAUNCH supports the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas, a federally recognized tribe, to create a relationship-based, integrated early childhood system of care. The approach represents our belief that evidence-based models and cultural congruity, when thoughtfully integrated, result in a powerful change model. The project will result in measurable positive outcomes for children, families, providers and the community.
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, the Red Cliff reservation is the smallest and poorest tribe in Wisconsin. The ongoing impact of historical trauma, however, is reflected in sobering demographics: 62% of Head Start children identified with or at risk for a mental health issue; 39% of ECE parents/caregivers have a mental health diagnosis; 17% of ECE caregivers report domestic violence; 12% of caregivers incarcerated and high rates of child abuse and neglect. Yet this data doesn’t define us, and Red Cliff’s rich cultural history and drive for self-determination provide a solid foundation for successful program development and implementation.
The Young Child Wellness Council, with representation from families, the community, traditional healers, early childhood, public school, primary care, mental health, and substance misuse services will create a shared vision of child wellness. Culturally-congruent evidence-based practices will enhance existent service provision to 300 children and over 400 family members annually.
Red Cliff Project LAUNCH goals are to 1) increase tribal and non-tribal agency collaboration in the Red Cliff early childhood system of care; 2) improve professional, parent and community member understanding of infant and early childhood mental health in relationship to child development and increase their capacity to provide nurturing social emotional supports; 3) reduce family stress and increase parent capacity to provide warm, nurturing environments to support strong family relationships, improved quality of life and overall resiliency; and 4) universal and targeted EBPs Head Start through 3rd grade result in measurable improvements in children’s social-emotional skills and competencies. Expected project outcomes include improved child health and school readiness; developmentally-appropriate screenings across settings; increased access to prevention and early intervention programs and pediatric and adult mental health services; increased connectedness between providers, families, and schools; increased integration of physical health, mental health and traditional wisdom and an integrated, effective system of care.