What is United for Brownsville (UB)?
We are a platform that empowers families, social-service providers, and health-care providers in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to improve the language and social-emotional development of infants and toddlers here. We believe that parents and service providers are experts in their fields who, collectively, know the best ways to overcome obstacles they face.
Why focus on the language and social-emotional development of 0-3 year-olds?
Language development includes learning to speak and understand language. Social-emotional development includes learning to form relationships and regulate one's own behavior. Many who study child development think that these two areas are the keys to a child's ability to do well in school and a career.
The earlier that we can support a child's development and intervene to address delays, the more prepared that child will be for a successful and productive life.
How is UB achieving its goals?
We're improving outcomes for 0-3 year olds in Brownsville not by adding another program or service to the neighborhood, but by helping families and service providers work better together. This will make the most of resources that already exist and ensure that no child falls in the gaps. Moreover, by empowering leaders who are already live in the neighborhood, we are creating a sustainable system for change.
When you listen to parents in Brownsville, you hear from child-rearing experts who want the same things all parents want.
Participatory Planning: UB's Approach
UB believes that families and service providers themselves know best about what works well, what their challenges are, and what should change to make their jobs easier. Therefore, it only makes sense that parents and service providers should take the lead in creating solutions that will improve outcomes for infants and toddlers in Brownsville. We led by two boards composed of families and service providers to ensure that we are participatory, and UB's backbone staff serves them and supports their decision-making.
The Family Advisory Board (FAB)
Just as parents and primary caregivers are central to their children's development, they are the central leaders and decision makers in United for Brownsville. The FAB is composed of fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and gaurdians who reflect the strength and diversity of parenting in this community, ensuring that families' concerns drive our priorities and actions.
The Provider Action Team (PAT)
The PAT brings local service providers to the decision-making table alongside family members in the FAB. The PAT is composed of Brownsville representatives from community-based organizations, health providers, local businesses, public libraries, teachers’ unions, faith-based groups, civic associations, and childcare providers. Together with the FAB, the PAT is designing activities that will change the way families and service providers relate to and among each other in ways that will better support early child development in Brownsville.
The Leadership Council (LC)
The LC consists of executives from 16 municipal agencies, community institutions, advocacy and funder organizations, and direct service providers in New York City. They provide strategic guidance and surface relevant approaches and interventions; assist in making connections to experts and leaders; and facilitate access to data, information, resources, and other collaborators.
UB's Support Role to FAB, PAT and LC
UB turns the structure of programs and services upside down. Rather than imposing activities on Brownsville, we are the backbone that supports the decision-making of the FAB, PAT and LC. We facilitate meetings, provide an infrastructure for communications and marketing, provide a budget to take on projects devised by the PAT and the FAB, collect and analyze data, manage logistics, and otherwise support UB's advisory groups in any way possible.
Families & Providers.
Who Is United for Brownsville?
We are parents, foster parents, family members, and advocates for the 3,500 children aged three and under in our Brooklyn neighborhood. We are daycare providers, psychologists, speech therapists, shelter staff, and pediatricians.
We are also UB's backbone staff, who have backgrounds in social services, community engagement, education, and management. We’re good at getting people together and trying to make important services work better for them.
We are united to change relationships between and among our groups so that infants and toddlers in Brownsville develop the language and social-emotional skills that will ensure success in life.