Talking Child Wellbeing and the System of Care Initiative in Jacksonville

A FrameWorks Communications Toolkit

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Welcome to Talking Child Wellbeing and the System of Care Initiative in Jacksonville—a collection of evidence-based framing recommendations and sample communications designed to help local professionals improve the lives of all children in Jacksonville.

In Jacksonville, Fla., a broad network of organizations is working to make sure that all children, no matter where they live, have access to what they need to develop, learn, and thrive. A critical part of this important work is building public understanding of child development, particularly child mental health. For the city to keep making progress on these issues, ordinary Jacksonville residents need to understand why child development matters as a public issue, how it works, what gets in the way, and what kinds of policies are needed to make a difference.

To make public engagement efforts as powerful as possible, the Jacksonville Partnership for Child Health turned to the FrameWorks Institute to craft tools and techniques for talking about child development and child mental health.  This toolkit offers the resulting set of communications research and recommendations, along with examples and models of how to apply them.

This toolkit includes resources that can be useful in framing many different types of communications about children’s issues. Whenever and wherever advocates talk about kids, they can count on these framing strategies to:

  • Activate the public’s sense of shared responsibility for the wellbeing of children and youth.
  • Explain essential concepts in child development so that they are easy to understand and hard to forget.
  • Inspire a sense of “can-do” when it comes to improving policies and programs for kids.

The recommendations outlined here are based on research sponsored by the Northeast Florida Children’s Mental Health Coalition and its grantees and partners, including the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and the Partnership for Child Health. Together, these and other organizations have partnered to support Jacksonville’s System of Care Initiative, which is working to integrate home and community-based services and support for youth.

Writing credits: Sara McElmurry, Anna Marie Trester, and Clara Gibbons
Design credits: Holly Valero, Segun Adesina, and Chris Vo

The Big Picture

Why Jacksonville needs a framing strategy, and what framing offers the community.


Executive Summary


Quick Start Guide

Take a quick tour of communications themes to avoid, compared with alternatives to advance.


Telling a Complete Story

Use storytelling as a resource to build public understanding about development and how it may be best supported.

Talking Points

Review the key messages and major themes for reframing.


Early Childhood Development (ECD)


Child Mental Health




Foster Care

Key Framing Guides

It can be hard to get your messages through. With preparation, you can head off challenges.



Stay on message in the face of tough questions.


"You Say, They Think” Chart

Anticipate how messages go astray — and see how to keep them on track.


The "Swamp"

Visual summary of relevant findings from cultural models research.

Sample Communications

See tested frame elements applied to communications opportunities such as editorials, social media updates, and program descriptions.

Fundraising Letter


Legislative Testimony

Sample Tweets

Presenter Tools

Media assets to use in your presentations.


PowerPoint Presentation


Editable Posters


Metaphor Visualization: Levelness

Go Deeper

Learning modules that expand on fundamental framing concepts.


The Wide Angle Lens: Storytelling for Social Change in Jacksonville

Learn to think differently about storytelling on social issues, shifting from “portrait” to “panorama.”

Research Base

The communications strategies in this toolkit were developed through extensive research using Strategic Frame Analysis®, an evidence-based approach to communications. This method uses social scientific methodologies to “reframe” messages about complex social and scientific issues such as childhood development using values, metaphors, and explanatory chains. The FrameWorks Institute has helped advocates in the childhood development field successfully transform their approach to communications and build public support for their solutions over the past 15 years. This section points you to the studies we conducted specifically in Jacksonville.

Talking Child Wellbeing and Public Health in Jacksonville: A FrameWorks MessageMemo (2013).
This multi-media MessageMemo summarizes the findings from communications research conducted in Jacksonville between 2011 and 2013, and includes videos of local on-the-street interviews.

Public Thinking

Stuck in a Tale of Two Cities: Mapping the Gaps on Child Development and Wellbeing in Jacksonville.
This report maps the gaps between how experts talk and Jacksonville residents think about child development, wellbeing, and children’s rights.

“If You’ve Got a Good Harness on Your Kids …”: Models of Child Wellbeing and Learning Among Jacksonville Residents.
This report explores the cultural models that Jacksonville residents use to think and talk about children’s issues.

Reframing Tools

The Potency of Potential: Values to Bring Jacksonville Together to Support Children
This report presents the results of an experimental survey that explores how three values—Civic Potential, Human Potential, and Civic Responsibility—can shift attitudes about children’s issues in Jacksonville.

All Aboard: Explanatory Tools to Talk about Children’s Wellbeing in Jacksonville
Reports the results of experimental framing research and recommends specific tools for better explaining system of care issues, such as explanatory chains and the metaphor Solid Tracks for Development.