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Systems Change in Early Childhood Using the Water of Systems Change Framework

May 16 | 4:00 pm 5:30 pm EDT

ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center


This webinar will introduce The Water of Systems Change framework and how it can be applied to early childhood systems-building work.
Three toddlers playing at a water table

Systems change is about shifting the conditions that hold a problem in place – The Water of Systems Change framework provides an actionable model that early childhood system leaders can use to produce measurable, lasting impact.  

Join the Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems (ECDHS): Evidence to Impact Center on Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 4-5:30 PM EDT for the webinar “Systems Change in Early Childhood Using the Water of Systems Change Framework.”

Melissa Passarelli, associate director of implementation and system-building at Help Me Grow National Center, and Jennifer Splansky Juster, executive director at Collective Impact Forum, will introduce The Water of Systems Change and how it can be applied to early childhood systems-building work. They will explore six interdependent conditions that vary from “explicit” to “implicit”:  

  • Structural Change (explicit): policies, practices, resource flows  
  • Relational Change (semi-explicit): relationships & connections, power dynamics  
  • Transformative Change (implicit): mental models  

This webinar will help early childhood and health systems leaders – including Title V; Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems; Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting; Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five; and similar program leaders – identify potential strategies for their work. After participating in the webinar, attendees will be able to:  

  • List the six conditions of systems change.   
  • Identify ways to apply a shift of conditions to early childhood work.    
  • Define conceptual models of systems and systems change.     

CEU credits will be available to those who attend the live webinar.  

Speaker Bios

Melissa Passarelli, MA

Melissa serves as the associate director of implementation and system-building at the Help Me Grow National Center. Prior to this role, Melissa served as the director of programs at Docs for Tots where she directed Help Me Grow Long Island, acted as the local Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Grant (ECCS) team lead, provided technical assistance to physicians and other providers on implementing screening initiatives, and coordinated Help Me Grow efforts across New York State. Melissa was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Act Early Ambassador for New York State from 2019-2022 and has been a board trustee for T1International since 2020. 

Melissa has an MA in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver and a BA in Psychology and Public Policy from The George Washington University. During her education she trained as a trauma therapist and helped establish Denver’s Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic, as well as worked for nonprofits such as First Book that focused on promoting equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.

woman with long brown hair

Jennifer Splansky Juster, MBA 

Jennifer Splansky Juster is executive director of the Collective Impact Forum. She is one of FSG’s leaders in collective impact field building, has worked on multiple collective impact engagements, designed training opportunities for thousands of collective impact practitioners, and frequently speaks on the topic. Jennifer has co-authored multiple publications on collective impact, including the report Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact and the articles “Centering Equity in Collective Impact,” “Committing to Collective Impact: From Vision to Implementation,” and “Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact.”

Over the course of her career, Jennifer has also worked with a range of foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations across sectors on issues of strategy, evaluation, and program design. Former clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Girard College, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Silicon Valley ALLIES. 

A California native, Jennifer is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two daughters. 

smiling woman with long brown hair
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