Healthy Futures: Year three evaluation of early childhood mental health consultation
The Washington D.C. Department of Mental Health (DMH) recently completed the third year of implementing an evidence-informed mental health consultation project in 25 community-based child development centers (CDCs). The Healthy Futures project is based largely upon a model developed by the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (Cohen & Kaufmann, 2005; Duran, et al., 2009). In this model four full-time, licensed mental health professionals provide on-site mental health consultation services aimed at building the capacity of directors and staff at CDCs to reduce challenging behaviors and promote positive social-emotional development. Two types of consultation services are offered: Programmatic Consultation: is focused on building the capacity of the teachers on behalf of all children in their classes. Child-specific consultation: is focused on those young children in need of individualized services as well as facilitating referrals for community-based services. An evaluation of the Healthy Futures project was contracted by the DMH with the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD). This year, evaluation data were gathered from the consultants, child care directors and teachers who received programmatic consultation in the CDCs. Additional data were collected from the teachers and parents of children who were referred for child-specific consultation from July 2012 to June 2013. This program year, satisfaction data were collected from the CDC directors and analyzed by a graduate student in public health as part of her masters' thesis; she also analyzed the activity logs from the four consultants. (author abstract)
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