During COVID-19, many families are struggling to meet basic needs, such as food and housing, and their children’s developmental needs. Counties are leveraging existing resources yet applying new strategies to address these challenges. Join this interactive discussion among rural county leaders to learn how to improve access to services through programs like home visiting and Family Connects and ways to bridge the service and digital divide.
Crystal Kelly, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Children's Council of Watauga County, N.C.
Ms. Kelly has worked at every level of the nonprofit sector and served as the executive director of the Children's Council, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the birth-to-five population for seven years. Under her leadership, the Children's Council grew in scope to serve as the resource hub for children and families in Watauga County. Ms. Kelly is a graduate faculty member in the Social Work Department at Appalachian State University and was selected as a Pritzker Fellow for the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers with a specific focus on intensive system building and strengthening local investments for Watauga County's prenatal-to-three population. She is also the co-lead for the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative with a mission to promote health and resiliency in the local community and to effectively prevent, recognize, and treat trauma by creating safe, stable, nurturing environments and relationships through education, advocacy, and policy change. Ms. Kelly received a master's degree in social work from Appalachian State University and a postgraduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health Leadership from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health.