Announcing the launch of Nurture Connection—the hub for Early Relational Health

I’m excited to announce the launch of Nurture Connection, a new movement conceived by our partners at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), dedicated to advancing the field of early relational health. 

In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement proposing a paradigm shift in pediatrics: one that focuses on bolstering early relational health as a way to buffer chronic stress and build resilience and health in children and families. Nurture Connection was born in response to AAP’s call, and I am honored to have contributed to forming this movement as an inaugural member of Nurture Connection’s Steering Committee.

In collaboration with leaders in parent advocacy, research, clinical care, philanthropy, and policy, Nurture Connection is committed to developing a new kind of research, dissemination, and policy strategy—one that centers parents’ lived experiences, relationships, and communities. This partnership offers us an unparalleled opportunity to engage in highly collaborative and iterative research, practice, and policy design. Our goal is to create an evidence base for the observation and promotion of early relational health, and make effective tools accessible to families across the country. 

Together, we’re working toward elucidating the mechanisms and applications of the foundational construct of emotional connection pioneered by Dr. Martha Welch, founder of the Nurture Science Program. This cross-disciplinary collaboration will allow us to advance our understanding of how emotional connection contributes to relational health and other life-course outcomes, test how to promote relational health at scale, and train clinicians in protocols to support it– all with family voices at the heart of the work, and the early engagement of policy leaders to make accessibility possible for every family.

Stay tuned for details as we develop implementation and learning strategies in the coming months, or click here to receive updates about this exciting initiative and learn about opportunities for engagement and collaboration. 

If you are interested in joining or spreading the word about our movement, please visit

We are proud and honored to collaborate with key partners across the country to drive research in early relational health toward a future of wellbeing for every family.