Reimagining early childhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Our Backbone


United for Brownsville’s backbone staff support the local stakeholders at the heart of our work. By reorienting the early childhood landscape around the strengths of families and service providers, we can create an environment in which infants and toddlers will thrive.


The goal: Improve language and social-emotional developmental outcomes for the 3,500 children aged 0-3 living in Brownsville, Brooklyn.



We are achieving our goals by using collective impact and participatory planning approaches to transform and reinvigorate relationships between and among local service providers and families.

UB is organizing service providers and families to help them leverage their strengths and collectively address challenges that frustrate their efforts today.

At the heart of our method are the monthly meetings that we organize and facilitate for the families and service providers who comprise UB. These meetings, our various subcommittees, and the planning sessions between meetings are the times and spaces during which our participants:

  1. Pursue a common agenda

  2. Develop shared measurement systems

  3. Plan and participate in mutually reinforcing activities

  4. Maintain continuous communication

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UB is a collaboration between SCO Family of Services and Community Solutions, and is an initiative of the Robin Hood Fund for Early Learning (FUEL). Our staff forms a backbone organization that provides an infrastructure, a budget, logistical assistance, and facilitation to support the advisory bodies at the core of these efforts. 

The UB backbone serves two leadership groups: The Family Advisory Board (FAB), which includes residents with experience raising children in Brownsville, and the Provider Action Team (PAT), which includes human services providers who interact with infants or toddlers, from childcare staff to early interventionists and pediatricians. These advisory bodies identify priorities and collaboratively devise activities to change relationships and improve outcomes for 0-3-year-olds.

We also benefit from the guidance of a Leadership Council composed of executives from 16 New York City agencies, nonprofits, and businesses that are at the forefront of early childhood development policy and infrastructure in New York City.