You have questions. We have answers…
This page provides county residents and partners with answers to commonly asked questions about the Anna, Age Eight Institute’s 100% New Mexico initiative — working to ensure 100% of families and all residents have access to ten vital services for surviving and thriving. With service barriers removed, everyone gains the capacity to prevent trauma and social adversity, and to thrive. The 100% New Mexico initiative, sponsored by New Mexico State University, has never been done before on a multi-county scale across a state in the US, so terms like groundbreaking and innovative describe it perfectly.
PART ONE: THE BASICS
- What is the 100% New Mexico initiative?
- What challenges and crises are you addressing?
- Don’t our local governments already do this type of work?
- Why is 100% New Mexico a county-focused initiative?
- What is the structure of the 100% New Mexico initiative?
- Does the 100% New Mexico initiative require an institutional base of operations?
- How did 100% New Mexico start?
- What are the benefits of asking a core team of county initiative stakeholders to read the book 100% Community (downloadable for free)?
PART TWO: WHY NOW?
- Don’t most people have jobs so they can pay for the ten services for surviving and thriving?
- Why these ten services?
- This sounds like a very pragmatic approach, who wouldn’t see value in it?
- Working in the public sphere can be challenging and at times confrontational. Is this timing right for launching such a bold initiative?
PART THREE: GETTING STARTED
- Can anyone start up a 100% New Mexico initiative and might I be the right champion to spearhead a local initiative?
- Once a local champion is identified as having the capacity to start the initiative, what happens?
- When does the 100% New Mexico survey start up, to assess county residents’ access to ten vital services?
- What do each of the ten action teams do with the survey results?
- What type of training do initiative participants get?
- How do initiative participants, working in their ten action teams, begin to identify solutions and increase service quality and reach?
- Within a county’s borders, who are the players in terms of ensuring that ten vital services exist?
- Even though the initiative is county focused, do initiative members need to reach out to some leaders on the state level?
PART FOUR: GETTING TO RESULTS
- How do we know if the initiative moved the needle, making measurable and meaningful results?
- What does the local Task Force on Histories and Cultures, addressing racial equity, historical disparities and historical trauma do?
- What role does technology have in the initiative?
- How does a local 100% New Mexico initiative communicate with county leaders, stakeholders and the public, recruiting new members, sharing activities and opportunities for engagement?
- How long does it take to ensure ten vital services within a county?
- How can I get started today, exploring if the 100% New Mexico initiative is where I wish to put my focus?
- What research can guide us in the areas of preventing adverse childhood experiences?
- This sounds like a big initiative with many moving parts. Who’s done this before and how can our county get support to implement it?
What is the 100% New Mexico initiative?
100% New Mexico initiative was developed by the Anna, Age Eight Institute to ensure safe childhoods, free from adverse childhood experiences, trauma and social adversity. It is a countywide mobilizing process that, working with all the leaders within a county’s borders, ensures the safety, health, education and job readiness of all children, youth and adults. The initiative is guided by decades of research focused on the social determinants of health, the ecological model of health, health equity, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed practice, historical disparities and historical trauma.
Given the unpredictability of crises, the 100% New Mexico initiative can also be viewed as a local process of crisis readiness, response and recovery. 100% New Mexico initiative is a coalition, dedicated to social justice with the primary mission of ensuring all county residents have access to 10 vital services for surviving and thriving.
What challenges and crises are you addressing?
We face stark challenges. Children are enduring epidemic rates of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), abuse, neglect and trauma. Pandemics and economic disruptions make once comfortable lives vulnerable, while those already enduring adversity find life impossible. Never before have local family services been so needed and in some communities, barriers to vital services bring hardships.
The 100% New Mexico initiative is the reset button, providing the roadmap for how we work together in new ways to ensure access to ten vital services and create local systems of health, safety, education and economic stability.
We survey counties to assess to what degree families struggle to access what we call the ten vital services for surviving and thriving–like medical care. You might be mortified to learn how hard access to vital services can be today–and it could grow worse for all of us tomorrow.
Within the 100% New Mexico initiative, you and your community are provided with the insights to ensure that ten vital services are working well in times both calm and chaotic. We call these services that none of us can do without, the five “surviving services” that start with medical care and include behavioral health care, housing security programs, food security programs and transport to vital services. The five “thriving services” are parent supports, early childhood learning programs, fully-resourced community schools with health centers, youth mentors and job training.
With ten vital services in place in each county, families are better equipped to endure the challenges that arise during a public health crisis or economic disruption.
Don’t our local governments already do this type of work?
That’s the important question. Each locality, including each city and county government, is different. It’s not enough to say, “We have a task force on that issue”, or, “We have a department that addresses that service.” We must dig deeper to ask, “What data do you have to indicate that the entities working on ensuring ten vital services are accomplishing the goal of ensuring every mom and dad access to food and housing security programs, along with health care?” Our experience is that there are hundreds of task forces, coalitions and committees looking at all our ten sectors in most regions. What they accomplish yearly might be convening and networking (all positive activities), but not necessarily ensuring ten vital services for 100% of county residents. We must ask all government, nongovernmental and foundation project leaders how they track progress in each county and to what end?
A common phrase heard among the public sector is, “We refer families to services.” A problem with this statement is that one may not know if services are actually available and accessible in the community a family lives in. This is why our initiative starts with an assessment, a countywide survey asking residents, “To what degree do you have access to ten vital services?”
Our 100% Family Services Directory Project helps each county assess their services and guide residents to them.
Visit the 100% Family Services Directory Project.
We also add, the challenges we face will not all be solved solely by the public sector. We need the best minds of the private sector to be active players here. We require innovation on a space-shuttle level to create new ways to ensure services with technology. We consider the 100% New Mexico initiative a public-private sector partnership.
Why is 100% New Mexico a county-focused initiative?
100% New Mexico is designed as a measurable, result-focused initiative. The county boundary sets a distinct goal, ensuring that all residents living within all cities and communities within a county’s borders, have timely access to the ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Within the county borders, there are revenue streams to support a funding formula for the 100% New Mexico initiative. County and city governments can earmark a percentage (1% or so) of their annual budget to support the work of the initiative. Our long term goal is to work county by county, as well as with regional collaboration and resource sharing, to eventually reach every county within a state. With determination, we can build 100% New Mexico in all 33 counties, customized to meet local needs, histories and cultures.
It all starts with one county surveying its residents to ask, “To what degree do you have access to the ten vital services for surviving and thriving?” The answers will most likely surprise you.
What is the structure of the 100% New Mexico initiative?
We have designed a structure to work efficiently in an era of rapid change and crises, with the frameworks required to ensure the 10 vital services for surviving and thriving.
The initiative is guided by a leadership team who recruits an action team leader (or co-leaders) to guide ten action teams, each team is focused on increasing the services of one of the 10 vital services.
Ideally, all participants have jobs within the government or nongovernmental agencies supplying the ten vital services and can engage with the initiative as part of their work. We also know that retirees and college interns can bring a wealth of expertise to the process. High school students can bring new insights and energy to each action team.
To increase crisis readiness, health, safety, education, self-sufficiency and economic development, the 100% New Mexico initiative promotes public-private sector partnerships to create a seamless countywide system of care and support. Amid colliding crises and a torrent of distracting media, 100% New Mexico offers a crystal clear mission, goals, activities and measurable outcomes. 100% can thrive!
We are an applied science model, meaning that local action teams will be reviewing research on how to identify barriers to vital services and create solutions. We are turning science into real world solutions that replace service barriers with access points. We are also seeking to use technology to bring services to both rural and urban families.
The research guiding the initiative
Visit: Adversity and Research.
Visit: 10 Sectors and Research.
Does the 100% initiative require an institutional base of operations?
Yes, we follow the Collective Impact model, which requires backbone (institutional) support, in addition to a shared vision, goals, interrelated activities and a shared understanding of how data will be used and how communication strategies work to engage the initiative participants, elected leaders, stakeholders and the public. Our county initiatives may find sponsors within local higher education and the nonprofit sector.
How did the 100% New Mexico initiative start?
The co-authors of 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving, Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello, are advocates for turning crises into opportunities for improving systems, solving challenges using data, technology and collaboration. They know why systems that should protect us, can fail us — and teach leadership development and data-driven problem-solving. Dr. Courtney’s expertise in data analysis, continuous quality improvement, collective impact and experimental psychology guides communities and organizations through turbulent and timely change. Cappello is a health systems strategist and New York Times bestseller author, whose Ten Talks book series on family safety reached a national audience when his innovative work was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The co-authors wrote the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment, an expose on child welfare and how to use a data driven process to address the root causes of abuse, neglect and adverse childhood experiences. The book advocates for creating a comprehensive and coordinated countywide process to increase services and the quality of services in ten interrelated public sector areas coined “the services for surviving and thriving.”
Dr. Ortega Courtney, PhD and Cappello met while working in the Research, Assessment and Data Bureau of New Mexico’s Child Protective Services Department. They know from professional and personal experience just how vulnerable people have been, are today and can be tomorrow.
The follow up book to Anna, Age Eight was 100% Community; Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving, designed as a blueprint for county leaders to ensure ten vital services to safeguard all residents from the destabilizing nature of colliding crises that include pandemics, economic disruptions, trauma and social injustice.
The books were widely regarded by New Mexico’s state lawmakers and state senator Bill Soules and representative Gail Armstrong. They co- sponsored the first senate bill to fund the Anna, Age Eight Institute as a technical assistance center to serve all New Mexico. Eventually, with funding established, the Institute became part of New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension program.
Dr. Ortega Courtney and Cappello became the co-directors of the Anna, Age Eight Institute and co-developers of the 100% New Mexico initiative.
What are the benefits of asking a core team of community stakeholders to read 100% Community?
Reading the book as a team is powerful team-building and creates a shared vision, goals and understanding of interrelated strategies, use of data and communication approaches. Reading the book together as a core team helps everybody literally get on the same page.
In localities, local champions set up 100% Community book clubs and they read the book together over the course of two months, answering as a group, all the questions posed at the end of each of the four parts of the book. In some counties, Anna, Age Eight book clubs are developed in both English and Spanish (we have two versions, free to download) to generate public awareness.
Download 100% Community.
The book 100% Community also helps potential initiative members understand the time commitment associated with projects of this size. The initiative is locally-driven by change agents, with many working within health care, education, and local government. The initiative works best when initiative members can make a commitment of at least 4-8 hours a week. This includes all action teams members, as well as the leadership team and related task forces. We also work with local initiative leadership to develop proposals to bring on contractors to help with local projects.
Don’t most people have jobs so they can pay for the ten services?
Many people do have full time jobs but work for wages that don’t pay for all ten services, sometimes barely rent and food. Employers don’t have to offer benefits such as health care, so even two-income households can struggle. Additionally, many parents might be unaware of some services that might help them, or might not be able to access them because of transportation or scheduling issues. Since the pandemic and social distancing, entire industries have been reduced, some jobs are gone and not coming back. Many jobs will be performed online by people living in other states or countries, and robots, in the form of artificial intelligence, may replace workers in many industries. The result will be economic disruptions in households, communities and across entire states. For this reason, all of us are vulnerable and all of us may require ten services for surviving and thriving as we move through this transition.
To learn more about adversity and the frameworks to address it, please visit Adversity and Research on our NMSU site.
Why these ten services?
100% New Mexico is the nation’s first data-driven plan to guide localities through the pandemic, economic free fall and a long list of costly social problems. “First we survive, then we can thrive,” state authors Ortega Courtney and Cappello, as they make the argument for each county ensuring the ten vital services for surviving and thriving.
The reasons we ensure these five services for surviving should be apparent: We don’t survive without them, especially as medical and mental health challenges rise due to the pandemic and stresses associated with economic disruptions.
- Medical Care
- Behavioral Health Care
- Food Security Programs
- Housing Security Programs
- Transportation to vital services
These five services for thriving each have decades of research supporting their effectiveness in creating healthy, safe and resilient families and communities. Job training will be vital as people will require support transition to jobs in a future workforce.
- Parent Supports
- Early Childhood Learning
- Community Schools (fully resourced schools with health centers)
- Youth Mentors
- Job Training
We know from surveys, that many residents struggle to access these ten services. In a pandemic, 30% of residents unable to easily access medical care for testing and treatment is a significant problem.
With old challenges colliding with new ones, having 50% of residents seeking behavioral health care and not easily accessing it is deeply troubling. Untreated mental health challenges, including trauma, are not a recipe for a healthy individual, family or community.
As for job training, having near 50% of residents reporting lack of easy access to training is a huge issue for communities, impacting job readiness, unemployment and underemployment.
To learn more about innovation in our ten sectors, please visit our NMSU site’s “Adversity and Research” page.
This sounds like a very pragmatic approach, who wouldn’t see great value in it?
Many people are excited to work on this initiative. Yet in a world of increasingly rapid change, there are folks who are fearful of what change will bring, even the potential change proposed in 100% New Mexico. That’s perfectly understandable. There are those who fear losing power, control or funding as priorities shift away from the status quo and how things have “always been done.” These are the folks, some of whom are in elected office in your county, who may require ongoing education about the return on investment that comes from ensuring vital services leading to safe childhoods, school achievement and job readiness. This is also all a normal part of what is referred to as the “framework for change” that focuses on how individuals and societies resist or embrace change. There are two books that we recommended to initiative’s participants to prepare them for resistance to change.
The first book is the fully-illustrated Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras: Confronting Apathy, Envy and Fear on the road to saving humans and the future. This book has been especially popular with younger people and those who enjoy satire and wit when exploring serious topics.
The second book is The Practice of Adaptive Leaders: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World by Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky. We can provide workshops on adaptive leadership to all initiatives.
The strategies presented in both books are invaluable as we confront the inevitable obstruction to the very new concept (and standard) of local governments ensuring ten vital services.
Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras can be downloaded free of charge.
Working in the public sphere can be challenging and at times confrontational. Is this timing right for launching such a bold initiative?
Change is never easy. There will never be a better time to say, “100% of families matter.” While a common phrase since the advent of the pandemic has been, “We’re all in this together,” some have pointed out it’s like being in Class 1, 2 and 3 on the Titanic. All going down yet only some get to the lifeboats. With 100% New Mexico, we build lifeboats for all residents, while redesigning the entire ship to make it far more efficient, user-friendly and unsinkable. Also, many coalitions asking for social justice and health equity are also, as part of their goals, asking for access to vital services like health care and job training.
You may preview the four-minute program on 100% San Miguel County (part of a documentary series).
Can anyone start up a 100% New Mexico and might I be the right champion to spearhead a local initiative?
First, champions and heroes come from all walks of life, at all ages. What matters most about launching the 100% New Mexico initiative is a passion for serving families, protecting children, health equity, social justice and the capacity to take on collaboration and a long-term project with groundbreaking goals.
Once a local champion is identified as having the capacity to start the initiative, what happens?
With the book 100% Community read, the local champion and colleagues have a blueprint for moving forward that starts with recruiting ten action team leaders (who serve as project developers), and a leader for the Task Force on Histories and Cultures. Other team members are recruited to focus on public education and research.
The “100% Power Hour” webinar focuses on the initiative’s structure.
When does the 100% New Mexico survey start up, to assess county residents’ access to ten vital services?
Ideally, once the county team is assembled the countywide survey can start. This can be the first collective activity as one needs to reach out to residents through all ten service sectors. The survey can usually be completed in three months, resulting in a county report detailing who needs services and what the challenges are to getting services.
Please review 100% New Mexico county surveys (from our pilot counties).
What do each of the ten action teams do with the survey results?
They look closely, sector by sector, at why folks can’t access services. If in the food sector, folks said that they can’t get to food banks because of transport issues and because the hours were so limited, the action team would research ways to help a food bank increase hours and possibly find a way to deliver food. (Note: Barriers are noted in the 100% New Mexico County Survey.) Or it might be that the food action team has to talk with the transportation action team to discuss new ways of creating public transport to vital services. As a data-driven project, the data from the survey guide all action teams as they develop evidence-informed projects shown to reduce barriers. Action teams also work in alignment with city, county and agency work being done to reduce barriers and promote health equity.
In addition to increasing the capacity of local organizations to increase services and the quality of services, there are two larger projects the action teams support. They are the 100% Family Center Project and the 100% Community Schools Project. Both of these projects increase access to vital services by placing them in a community-based or school-based environment which creates a one stop service hub.
Visit the 100% Family Center Project.
Visit the 100% Community Schools Project.
What type of training do initiative participants get?
After the team completes the 100% Community book club, where the group discusses the book’s hypothesis, vision, goals and activities, the entire country-based 100% New Mexico initiative participates in the 100% New Mexico 7-Power Hour webinar services. The series introduces participants to community engagement, partnerships, programming, assessment, planning, action and evaluation. The 100% Power Hours series, along with ongoing technical assistance from the Anna, Age Eight Institute, focuses on giving participants a tool box, with all the tools required to implement the data-driven and cross-sector work of increasing services within a county’s borders.
Register for the 100% Power Hour series.
Please explore our 100% Ready online workshop.
How do initiative participants, working in their ten action teams, begin to identify solutions and increase service quality and reach?
Our web-based 100% New Mexico Virtual Center is called EYE ON SOLUTIONS. It is a place to review proposed projects in each of the ten sectors, providing links to best practices and evidence-informed solutions to increase services and user-friendliness. Action teams can explore all the proposed solutions in ten virtual centers (one for each of the ten surviving and thriving sectors) to start the local work. Innovation, infused with technology, is provided throughout the site. The Anna, Age Eight institute staff can give tours of each of the Virtual “Centers” to action teams and support project development.
Visit EYE ON SOLUTIONS.
Within a county’s borders, who are the players in terms of ensuring that ten vital services exist?
Ultimately, it will come down to your county commissioners, and all the city mayors, councilors and school board members who work within the county’s borders. These elected officials control multi-million dollar budgets with the mission, widely interpreted, of serving residents. We are not saying that it’s up to county government and city government to fund all ten services, but it is the job of the local government to assess gaps in services and leverage their power, resources and relationships to ensure that the public and private sector provide the ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Other partners may include state lawmakers representing a county and leaders of higher education, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and foundations. There are many opportunities for robust public and private sector partnerships within the initiative as we innovate to increase access to ten vital services across rural and urban New Mexico.
Even though the initiative is county focused, do initiative members need to reach out to some leaders on the state level?
That’s a big yes. In part 2 of the book 100% Community we describe about 20 state leaders, all public servants the local initiative folks will wish to reach out to. This list goes from the “governor’s people” to the state directors of public health, public education, child welfare, economic development and higher education.
How do we know if the initiative moved the needle, making measurable and meaningful results?
The 100% New Mexico initiative is result-focused, tracking progress towards one goal: within your county’s borders 100% of residents have access to the 10 vital services for surviving and thriving. As your county initiative unfolds, you can measure how each of your county’s communities become a fully-resourced environment where all residents have access to the vital services that empower families to succeed. With our 100% New Mexico survey of residents, we can track regularly if services are becoming more user-friendly and accessible. We promote vigilance, always asking if and how progress is being made. All the energy, time, passion and goodwill poured into the initiative needs to demonstrate how each of the ten sectors is evolving to meet the needs of 100% of county residents.
Our initiative is being evaluated by the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall. Please contact us for information about this process.
What does the local Task Force on Histories and Cultures, addressing racial equity, historical disparities and historical trauma do?
Ideally, this task force is made up of historians, civil rights leadership, social justice agency activities and members of local cultural groups. This Task Force can identify local history as it relates to historical disparities and historical trauma. Public forums can be convened to discuss past and present injustices including racial inequities. This group can also research what social justice groups are accomplishing nationally and bring to the county initiative insights and strategies for ensuring health equity and an end to all disparities. The goal is to work in alignment with all groups working to ensure inclusion, racial equity, social justice and access to the ten vital services for surviving and thriving.
Visit: Research on addressing adversity.
What role does technology have?
Huge! We first have to assess, within a county’s borders, the magnitude of the digital divide. Then fix it. We use tech in small and big ways, from listservs to email for every elected official in the county, to artificial intelligence that is transforming family services in profound ways. We see a wave of tech innovation impacting the entire workforce, which can mean joblessness, unless we invest in jobs in our ten surviving and thriving sectors that require a compassionate human quality.
Technology also guides the development of the 100% Family Services Directory Project. This web-based directory allows local initiative members a way to assess which county-based services exist and to what degree they can meet the needs of local residents. The directory is locally controlled and each organization is contacted before listing them to confirm services and that no one turned away for lack of funds.
Visit the Directory.
How does a local 100% New Mexico initiative communicate with county leaders, stakeholders and the public, recruiting new members, sharing activities and opportunities for engagement?
Each county initiative starts with a 100% Community book club, made up of local stakeholders, to reflect on the book’s hypothesis, vision, goals and overall structure for the 100% New Mexico initiative. The county initiative will also be provided with a “100%” website to serve as a recruiting tool and generate public awareness and engagement of local leaders within city government, county government and school boards.
Some counties start their book club with Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment, then move onto reading 100% Community. Both books have been used to generate interest in the initiative in our pilot counties.
Our 100% Mural Project is also a way our local initiatives are increasing public awareness of ACEs and social adversity, as well as how to unite to ensure vital services exist.
Visit: the 100% Mural Project.
How long does it take to ensure ten vital services within a county?
It all depends on the level of service delivery and quality of services today, as well as the local capacity for change. This process could make significant strides in four years (think one year for each of the phases of continuous quality improvement: assessment, planning, action and evaluation). Much will depend on buy-in from city and county elected leaders and stakeholders. Technology will also have a big role, as many services go online. Ending the digital divide may be the most long term project. The 100% New Mexico initiative is a first-of-its-kind strategy, to be considered a large-scale collective impact project, ending decades of historical disparities and historical trauma. We at the Anna, Age Eight Institute are committed to supporting the long-term work over the next decade.
How can I get started today, exploring the potential of the 100% New Mexico initiative for my county?
Visit the Anna, Age Eight Institute site to download free of charge 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving and Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment. The books are the catalyst for change and our entire initiative is fueled by the power of words.
Download Anna, Age Eight.
Please visit our main NMSU Anna, Age Eight Institute site to access research and more information.
What research can guide us in the areas of preventing adverse childhood experiences?
One of the biggest challenges preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is that they represent ten different adult behaviors impacting children and teens. Each ACE may have its own root causes, impact and prevention and treatment efforts. In order to design a data-driven strategy to prevent and treat ACEs, we will benefit from taking a deep and long dive into the research. The research articles offered here are focused on specific ACEs and are primarily from peer-reviewed journals. They can provide ongoing professional development, research, analysis of best practice, and promotion of community dialogue and attention focused on educating all providers and residents about the emotional and financial costs of ACEs.
It is worth noting that while ACEs exist in rural and urban environments and among all socio-economic groups, local public acknowledgement of the magnitude of ACEs may differ based on community norms. Familiarity with research on ACEs-related topics is the most effective way for an organization to develop a countywide prevention and treatment strategy.
Our strategy is far more comprehensive than being trauma-informed, which is a very valuable practice but one of intervention, not prevention. Our work is focused on going upstream, providing the vital family services shown to prevent ACEs before they happen.
Visit our Anna, Age Eight Institute/NMSU site.
This sounds like a big initiative with many moving parts. Who’s done this before and how can our county’s stakeholders get support to implement it?
New Mexico is the first state in the nation to implement a data-driven and county-based strategy focused on preventing ACEs and social adversity, guided by the research focused on the social determinants of health, health equity, racial justice and the social-ecological model. The work is groundbreaking and the Anna, Age Eight Institute, part of NMSU Cooperative Extension, is here to help county stakeholders in all areas of initiative development. We can share our framework for change and guide local champions through all the research, programs and policies that guide a county, city and town to results.
For an overview of goals and activities related to starting a 100% New Mexico initiative, please consider registering for the 100% Power Hour 7-part webinar series.
The 100% Power Hour series provides an overview of the initiative and how to build all the vital services within a county’s border to ensure 100% of families can thrive. We hope to see you there and collaborate.
Visit: 7-part Webinar Series.