About Us

 

The community relies on Children’s Institute to put ideas into action.

JENNIFER LEONARD, PAST PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ROCHESTER AREA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

 

With programs and services that are grounded in research, we build bridges between theory and practice. We transform ideas into proven solutions and turn obstacles into opportunities for success for children and families.

Children’s Institute partners with community agencies and schools to strengthen the social and emotional health of children in a variety of different ways. We assist with the implementation of evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs; provide a range of trainings, assessments, and services to support those who work with children; and conduct research and evaluation to continuously improve efforts that support children’s positive growth and development.

Our Mission: Joining together to raise every child’s complete wellbeing.

Our Vision: Supportive communities where every family can raise children who thrive as they live, learn, and play.

Our Core Values:

  • Racial and Social Justice: We work collectively to be anti racist and to promote social justice by removing barriers to equity and ensuring inclusion of all people.
  • Children and Families First: We honor and value children, youth, and families as experts in their own lives, and promote success in all areas of wellbeing.
  • Transformation with an Engaged Presence: It is our duty to participate with cultural humility, always learning, reflecting, and applying new understandings to strengthen the systems and communities that health, learning, and growth depend upon.
  • Partnerships Are Essential: We team with community partners, shoulder to shoulder, to develop and deliver measurably effective solutions to serve children, families, and providers.
  • Interdependence of Research and Practice: We believe that taking action informed from lived experience, research and practice achieves outcomes that children, youth, families, and communities desire similarly. 
  • Ethical and Responsible Use of Resources: We are good caretakers of resources and relationships that benefit children, including the ethical use of data.


Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Statement
Children's Institute envisions communities where children, youth and families thrive as they live, learn, and play. Recognizing the diversity of the communities we serve, we are committed to identifying and addressing racism and other inequities to ensure every person’s identity is honored and respected. Our commitment has begun in our workplace with self-reflection, listening and learning. We are integrating that learning into our work and how we engage with the families and systems we serve to ensure our effectiveness

 


 

Joining together - picture of members of the CI Team who works with partners to support child wellbeing

 

Joining together for the wellbeing of children

Children’s Institute is known as a center of excellence for the social and emotional health of children. Our staff includes psychologists, educators, technologists, researchers, social workers, business professionals, and experts in public policy. Many of our staff members are regular contributors at the annual conferences of the National Association of School Psychologists, Center for School Mental Health, and American Educational Research Association.

Our researchers are published in peer-reviewed journals such as Pediatrics, Journal of Family Psychology, Ambulatory Pediatrics, Family Court Review, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and Early Education Quarterly.

CI Executive Summary

CI Strategic Plan Overview Video

 

Testimonials

"It would be impossible to have made the progress that our community has for our children – our youngest citizens and most important legacy ­– without Children’s Institute. Their work here has tremendously benefited our kids and has become nationally known and regarded. They are among our most important community assets.”
–Jeff Kaczorowski, M.D., Senior Advisor, Children’s Agenda; Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Government and Community Relations, Golisano Children’s Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center

"My daughter is very shy and quiet. Primary Project lets her know that other adults can see what a special child she is. By the time the program ended, she was laughing and talking more.”
–Parent