Child First is a two-generation, home-based intervention that works with very vulnerable young children, prenatal through age 5 years, and their families in order to decrease serious mental health concerns in child and parent, child development and learning problems, and abuse and neglect. It has two core components: (a) a system of care approach to stabilize and provide comprehensive, integrated services and supports to the child and his/her family (e.g., early education, housing, substance abuse treatment), while enhancing adult executive capacity and (b) a relationship-based, psychotherapeutic approach to enhance nurturing, responsive parent-child relationships and promote positive social-emotional and cognitive development. The program is implemented by a team of a master’s level mental health clinician and a bachelor’s level care coordinator. Duration is adjusted based on families’ needs with an average length of 6 to 12 months. Mental health consultation to early care and education is included. All staff receive intensive reflective clinical supervision.
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