Change in Mind


Change in Mind is a three-year initiative supporting the alignment of emerging research on chronic stress andĀ developmental trauma with public policy and community practices. The initiative is a partnership between the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Palix Foundation‘s Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. The goal is to see if the cohort’s work will determine if this groundbreaking science can transform policies to move the needle on some of the most difficult social issues facing our communities.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of 15 non-profit organizations throughout Canada and the United States involved with the initiative. Children’s goals with respect to this project include:

  • To support policies that enable greater availability of innovative, evidence-based or -informed interventions that support child development and family resilience through increased flexibility in funding at both federal and state levels.
  • To create incentives and training opportunities for mental health providers to get trained in evidence-based approaches to increase availability.
  • To engage academic institutions, such as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in creating adaptations of evidence-based approaches to provide them to more families in an innovative fashion.


CiM provided a unique learning experience, both with information from experts in their respective fields, project team members, and peers in the community of practice.

By connecting experts in the areas of brain science, health, strategic communication, policy, and evaluation with a community of practice comprised of nonprofit organizations, CiM established an adaptive approach for advancing science based policy. Increasing the capacities of organizations supports a wide range of system change efforts, including Childrenā€™s efforts to expand the use of evidence-based services and support healthy and stable housing, while also advancing collective efforts in the US and Canada. Exposure to the insights, knowledge, and experiences of cohort peers and experts invited to convene provided essential tools that have improved how we approach systems change and practice innovation.





Amy Herbst
Jenell Loreck
Gabriel McGaughey


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Palix Foundation (Canada)


ICFW Change in Mind Project Update

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Website

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Change in Mind)

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Policy Guide)

Brain Story Certification (An online course in Brain Story Science)

Brain Story Guided Learning Experience (Illustrated)

How Brains Are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development (Video)

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Resources:
Are you seeing these behaviors in your child?
The effects of trauma on your child
Ways to calm your child

Brain Story/Core Story Tool Kit:
Visit the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Resource Library for print and video assets.


  • Learning Cards (Brain Architecture, Serve & Return, Stress, Air Traffic Control)
  • Origami Game (A serve-and-return game for caregivers and children to do together.)


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  • Brain Architecture
  • Serve and Return
  • Toxic Stress
  • Air Traffic Control
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