Family Connections consultants, who are early childhood education specialists and licensed mental health professionals, have implemented the Family Connections preventive intervention and training model in early childhood programs throughout Massachusetts. The Family Connections training and consultation model is unique in several ways, including:
Guidance in the use of an instrument design to assess a program's readiness for change;
A coaching/mentoring approach that provides scaffolding of new skills for early childhood staff and for families;
Building relationships in order to model the power of collaboration and partnership as an agent for change.
Training early childhood program managers and staff to develop new skills and better understand difficult emotional issues, adversity and depression;
Therapeutic prevention and intervention activities with children in classrooms and in the center to build positive interactions and reduce behavioral difficulties;
Engagement, prevention and therapeutic intervention activities with parents, offering both regular group and individual consultation around issues of parenting and dealing with adversity;
Prevention and intervention mentoring and modeling with early childhood professionals, including guidance in the development of staff support groups, and the promotion of supportive supervision;
Networking with organizations and institutions to improve child and adult access to mental health services.
Created in 1964, Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Head Start and Early Head Start now serve more than 900,000 children each year, from birth to age five, in 48,000 classrooms around the United States. Because recent statistics show that up to 48 percent of Early Head Start mothers are depressed, and that there are harmful affects of parental depression on young children, Family Connections strives to support parents and Head Start staff in the face of depression and other adversities.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) is Boston's antipoverty agency, serving more than 100,000 low-income Greater Boston residents through its city-wide network of neighborhood-based organizations. ABCD provides innovative, timely programs that promote upward mobility and a higher quality of life for people and communities.
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley aligns a network of more than 200 independent health and human services under the same set of community goals:
- Children will be nurtured and enter school ready to learn.
- Youth will have adult guidance and positive options for the future.
- Families will have safe permanent homes, and the skills and opportunities to build better futures.