The Washington DC Department of Mental Health (DMH) recently completed the second 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. In this model: Four full-time, licensed mental health professionals provide weekly 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. Consultants also help to identify those young children in need of more intensive services, providing child-specific consultation services as well as facilitating referrals for community-based services. An evaluation of the Healthy Futures project was contracted for by the DMH with the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. A random sample of 57 classrooms was selected for the in-depth data collection. The evaluation measured the frequency and intensity of the consultation services delivered to the CDCs. 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 2011 to June 2012. The social-emotional climate of a smaller sample of 16 classrooms was assessed in the fall and spring of school year 2011-12 by an objective observer using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS.) (author abstract)
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