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The application for SYNC is currently closed. We will re-open the application in Fall 2023.

Strengthening Systems for North Carolina Children (SYNC) is a no-cost training opportunity for North Carolina communities who want to use a systems thinking approach to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The purpose of SYNC is to support North Carolina communities with high ACEs burden in furthering their understanding of how community systems and structures influence ACEs. This understanding is meant to help identify ways to strengthen systems and build community resilience to prevent ACEs.

Community teams of 10 to 25 learn how to use a systems thinking tool called causal loop diagramming to create a map of the systems that may influence shared risk and protective factors (SRPFs) for ACEs in their community. They will use this map to identify key points on the system they can target to build resilience and mitigate ACEs. After completion of the program, teams will receive one year of technical assistance from subject matter experts who have experience working with communities.

Click here to read the testimony of the team leader of SYNC’s pilot community in Surry County, North Carolina. For other stories from the pilot community, check out the following articles from The Mount Airy News.

Workshops will be in February and April 2023, and will be held in-person in a location in or near your community. If you have questions, email the Project Manager, Meghan Chua, at chuam[at]

If you are interested in using a systems thinking approach for ACEs prevention efforts but, for any reason, are not able to apply to SYNC, IFNC offers another training program, the Collaborative Learning Institute. To learn more, visit the CLI webpage here, or click on the infographic below to view a comparison of the CLI and SYNC.