Initiative Aims To Change Attitudes About Childhood

Apr 25, 2013

A campaign is underway to improve children's lives by changing the way we think and talk about childhood.

Over the next few months, the Jacksonville System of Care Initiative, in conjunction with the FrameWorks Institute, will bring together community leaders, child advocates and other stakeholders to review the research, refine the message and re-frame the conversation about children's issues.

Jacksonville Pediatrician, Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen, says it's important for everyone to be on the same page.

"Beginning with how we understand children.  How we respect children.  How we understand childhood. How we engage children in our community.  How we give them a voice.  How we listen to them.  How we fulfill their rights as citizens of our country.

According to Goldhagen, children aren't tiny adults-in-waiting who have no value to society until they grow up.  They're people in their own right, he says, and they deserve better.

"We have the worst health and well being of children of any developed country in the world.  And children in the South have the worst health and well being of children in our country.  Which really translates into the fact that children in Jacksonville have the worst health and well being of children in the entire developed world."

Frameworks Institute is a Washington D.C. think-tank that helps non-profit groups communicate their ideas more effectively.