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Child FIRST


Program Description

Child FIRST (Child and Family Interagency, Resource, Support, and Training) is a home-based, psychotherapeutic intervention for children (birth to 6 years) and families, including expectant mothers.  The program seeks to prevent or reduce children’s emotional, behavioral, developmental, and learning problems, and prevent or reduce abuse and neglect by their caregivers.

Child FIRST identifies children at risk of behavioral or learning problems and works with their families to address multiple risk factors such as poverty, trauma and exposure to violence, abuse and neglect, depression, substance use, and homelessness. Child FIRST is based on two core components: 1) a comprehensive and coordinated system-of-care approach to provide individualized support and services to the child and family, and 2) relationship-based approaches to enhance nurturing and positive development.

Child FIRST is delivered in the family home to increase engagement and participation. The program is provided by a two-member team, consisting of a care coordinator and a licensed mental health clinician, referred to as a child development specialist. Families and the Child FIRST team work together to develop a comprehensive plan that includes treatment activities and goals, supports, and services. The care coordinator connects families with community-based services addressing challenges relating to health, mental health, early childhood, and education, and with other social supports. The clinician is trained to provide trauma-informed, child–parent psychotherapy to build parenting skills and develop a more nurturing and responsive relationship between the parent and child.

The Child FIRST team works with families for 6 to 12 months through home visits of between 60 to 90 minutes. During the first month of the intervention, the assessment phase, the Child FIRST team makes twice-weekly home visits. During the remaining months of the intervention phase, one or both of the Child FIRST team members conduct weekly home visits or more, as needed.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
Receipt of Social Services
Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Externalizing/Antisocial Behaviors
Depression and Depressive Symptoms
Non-Specific Mental Health Disorders and Symptoms
General Functioning and Well-Being
Family Cohesion
Self-Regulation
Internalizing Problems
Parenting Practices
Program Contact
Darcy Lowell, M.D.
Founder, CEO

203.538.5225
darcylowell@childfirst.com
www.childfirst.com

Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Sherry Linton-Massiah
Director, Communication and Partnerships

203.538.5782
sherrylintonmassiah@childfirst.com
www.childfirst.com

Program Type
Mental health promotion
Mental health treatment
Substance use disorder prevention
Co-occurring disorders

Gender
Male
Female

Age
0-5 (Early childhood)


Geographic Locations
Urban


Settings
Home

Race/Ethnicity
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Other

Implementation/Dissemination
Implementation materials available
Dissemination materials available