First 5 Calaveras has served as the connecting point for a partnership approach aligning developmental screening, early childhood mental health and family support. Building on the five protective factors identified in the national Strengthening Families Initiative, First 5 Calaveras funds programs and administers collaborative approaches to meet early childhood, family and youth mental health needs.
First 5 Calaveras Funded Programs:
- Early Childhood Home Visits (bimonthly): Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) or NIPPISING developmental screenings, REEL 3 Speech Screening, and Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDP) completed for participating children ages 0-5. Participation in Raising a Reader family literacy program, and family progress tracked using Life Skills Progression measures.
- Children at-risk for developmental disabilities and participating in the DDS Prevention Program, children in foster care, involved with child welfare or family courts are a priority for enrollment in Early Childhood Home Visits.
- Behavior Consultations and Intervention – for children at risk for release from childcare and preschool settings due to behavior or for families enrolled in the Perinatal Substance Abuse program. Individual observations of child in the childcare or home setting by a LMFT with early childhood classroom experience. Parents, Caregiver and MFT together develop an environmental and behavior support plan with periodic monitoring to ensure interventions are effective.
- Parent and Professional capacity building – local training and workshops with LMFT/LCSW’s to promote understanding of parents roles and relationships, children’s emotional and behavioral development and needs, and techniques and strategies to promote nurturing relationships and preventive practices.
First 5 Calaveras Strengthening Families Initiative Partnerships & Collaboration:
First 5 Calaveras administers the Prevent Child Abuse Council Calaveras, Child Abuse Prevention funds and Behavioral Health Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prevention and Early Intervention funds for Calaveras County, providing:
- Life Skills Home Visits (Prevention) – six weekly MFT home visits addressing specific parent needs and hands-on training for: child nurturing, nutrition, health and physical care; critical thinking and relationship building; accessing community resources. Parent progress is evaluated using the Life Skills Progression tool.
- Strengthening Families Parent Education (MHSA) – A comprehensive parent education model including social marketings, Nuturing Parenting Program, Strengthening Families Seminars, Mindful Parenting workshop series, and parent counseling for families under or uninsured for counseling.