Creating Healing Justice-based Leadership and Policies to Further the Well-being of Young Children and Families

P-5 Primary Domain

Leadership to Meet Family Needs and Improve Services and Systems


Designed for IECMH and ECE Professionals

December 5-6, 2023

A healing-centered approach is a holistic framework integrating culture, spirituality, and collective healing. This framework honors the inherent capacity and hopefulness within individuals and communities which systems seek to serve. It moves beyond “what happened to you?” to “what’s right with you?”  A healing-centered approach supports providers and systems to counteract the impact of trauma and recognize and address the ways in which our own policies and practices have furthered systems of oppression and disrupted relationships on all levels—individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic.  

While we are a multidisciplinary field that seeks to support well-being and healing, early childhood professionals and systems are neither immune from nor invincible to harm, brokenness, or replicating systems of oppression. And our own ongoing work and healing are integral to healing and hope on broader community and societal levels. Leaders (including practitioners) have vital roles to play not only in the outward-facing work of their organizations, but also in how their teams, programs, organizations, and systems are supported, held, and developed.   

“We do not seek to promote single healers as one model, nor models of healing as singular nor to build individualized care; but to build mechanisms and systems that build collective wellness; transform generational trauma and violence; and build quality care that is accessible to all” (The Kindred Collective, n.d.).  Together we can more fully cultivate the hope, healing, and well-being we aspire toward by working to transform our systems into healing-centered work and engaging clients, families, and communities as powerful agents of their own healing. 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Develop and co-create an experiential learning space to practice decolonizing internalized ways of thinking about who we are, where we come from, and how we have participated in systems of harm
  • Share and co-construct common language and common frameworks currently being advanced in our field’s social justice movement
  • Integrate decolonized ways of being and expansive social justice frameworks into examples of IECMH leadership, policy, and practice
  • Identify and practice strategies that embody a way of being that is informed by Healing Justice principles, surfacing how these ways of being impact our parallel process with others in our work, while being together in grace