How can the science of child development and well-being be integrated into policy and practice? Recent attention at federal and state levels on "well-being" provides an opportunity to consider what is included in well-being, how to measure it, and the implications for policies and programmatic approaches that improve well-being across child-serving systems. A large body of research and science points to the need to create nurturing environments where children can develop along a healthy trajectory physically, cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and socially. When adverse childhood experiences and trauma occur, development can be derailed. Using evidence-based interventions to help children get back on track is important.
In this forum, we explored the connection between healthy child development and well-being, provided several frameworks for understanding the domains and measurable indicators of well-being, and considered steps that can be taken to improve well-being and developmental functioning. Several well-being frameworks were presented. Participants were encouraged to explore how policies, practices, assessments, and interventions in their work could be organized around a well-being framework to more effectively ensure a positive life course for children.