SRCD State Policy Fellow Portfolio Abstracts: Callie Silver, M.A.


2019-2020 State Policy Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD), Illinois


Portfolio Entry 1: Illinois Pyramid Model Implementation Guide

Project Overview:

Background: Illinois has been classified as a Pyramid Model state (since 2017), taking actions and securing funding to share this social-emotional learning intervention (grounded in PBIS) to early childhood care and education programs throughout the state’s mixed delivery system.

Goals: To summarize the implementation efforts that the state of Illinois has taken since it became a Pyramid Model state. To clarify terms, definitions, and processes for the Illinois State Leadership Team, along with other Pyramid Model players (e.g. process coaches, implementation sites). To serve as a model for other states implementing the Pyramid Model.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Learned about the Pyramid Model, specifically within the context of Illinois, to be able to write about Illinois’ activities towards implementation since 2017
  • Participated in Illinois Pyramid Model State Leadership Team meetings quarterly
  • Helped to convene a group to provide feedback on the guide in an iterative way throughout the length of my fellowship. 
  • Engaged with leaders from the various early childhood care and education systems (e.g. Head Start, Child care, ISBE) to discuss their system’s approach to Pyramid Model implementation sites

Activity Focus Keywords: Community Collaboration, Cross-Agency Collaboration, Document Review, Implementation Research, Written Guide 
Policy Area Keywords: Social-Emotional Learning, PBIS, Mixed-Delivery Systems, Statewide Leadership Team, Pyramid Model

Portfolio Entry 2: FAQ’s For Child Care During COVID-19

Project Overview:

Background: As the COVID-19 continues to impact every facet of daily life in our state, GOECD is responsible for communicating with various early childhood entities, including center-and home-based programs, as well as families.

Goals: To communicate emergency child care policies to various stakeholders including program administrators, staff, and families. To collaborate with other state agencies in order to respond to novel questions or issues that had not previously been considered.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Collaborated with GOECD staff to create the following FAQ document that has been
  • continuously updated.
  • Carefully read and interpreted rules related to emergency child care.
  • Communicated with other state agencies and staff at the Illinois Governor’s Office to
  • respond to novel questions/issues that had not previously been considered.
  • Read and responded to incoming questions from the field to GOECD’s email inbox from providers, parents, etc.

Activity Focus Keywords: Cross-Agency Collaboration, Community Collaboration, Document Review, Policy Analysis
Policy Area Keywords: COVID-19, Emergency Child Care, Center-based Child Care, Workforce, Child Care Subsidy

Portfolio Entry 3: Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit

Project Overview:

Background: In March 2020, when Illinois’ shelter in place due to COVID-19 was enacted, there began a plethora of resources for families around health and safety, home-schooling, etc. However, a gap remained that was identified by the Illinois Pyramid Model’s State Leadership Team and GOECD’s Acting Executive Director: a central and user-friendly hub for social-emotional resources for families and caregivers with young children. Myself and Iris, GOECD’s Family Engagement Coordinator were tasked with creating such a document to be featured on GOECD’s COVID-19 For Families Page.

Goals: To provide families of young children with a central hub of resources to support them and their children’s social-emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Co-created the following video and document: Emotional Well-being Toolkit: Resources for Children, Families, & Caregivers that has been one of two most “clicked” resources of the past several months, according to our Communications Director.
  • Collaborated with Iris, GOECD’s Family Engagement Coordinator, and members of the Pyramid Model State Leadership Team
  • Researched and identified high-quality resources created by reputable Universities or agencies
  • Obtained feedback from a family that Iris has worked with about usability and made edits to the document in response.

Activity Focus Keywords: Document Review, Written Guide, Dissemination
Policy Area Keywords: COVID-19, Family Engagement, Social-Emotional Learning, Trauma-Informed Care

Portfolio Entry 4: Transforming Early Childhood Discipline Through Collaborative Research and Evaluation

Project Overview:

Background: In January 2018, IL PA 100-0105, officially prohibited the use of exclusionary discipline in response to behavioral concerns from all publicly-funded and/or licensed early childhood programs. While this legislation has been celebrated nationwide for its broad reach and progressive language, there has been and continues to be no statewide data system that would allow the state to study the impacts of this legislation. As such, myself and my Academic Advisor, Kate Zinsser, have created a stakeholder coalition of policymakers, advocates, and practitioners to evaluate the impact, both positive and negative, of this legislation over time.

Goals: To publish findings from the first two years of a collaborative evaluation of Illinois’ groundbreaking early childhood expulsion policy, PA 100-0105. To continue and expand on a partnership that was forged before my time as a GOECD Fellow. 

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Submitted a manuscript (and received an R&R) as the First Author to a special issue of Translational Issues in Psychological Science on Psychology and Public Policy. 
  • Coordinated with co-authors including my GOECD site supervisor, Lori Orr, academic advisor, Kate Zinsser, and community collaborators, Alli Lowe-Fotos (The Ounce of Prevention Fund) and Maria Estlund (Illinois Action for Children) via email and virtual conversations.
  • Integrated feedback from co-authors into the manuscript on an ongoing basis and communicated with co-authors about the stages of manuscript submission and revision

Activity Focus Keywords: Policy Analysis, Academic Article Writing, Community Collaboration
Policy Area Keywords: Early Childhood Expulsion, Exclusionary Discipline, Social-Emotional Learning, Mental Health Consultation, Policy Analysis