Early Childhood Services
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership(ECCP)
Professionals in the field of behavioral health all agree that interventions to address challenges which affect a child's social-emotional development are best addressed at the earliest possible stage, both in terms of age and onset of symptoms.
Evaluating and treating these impediments at the earliest stages result in more positive therapeutic outcomes versus interventions which would be more costly and difficult to treat when provided at a much later date.
The Center's Early Childhood Services offer prevention,consultation, assessment and treatment services which address the challenges presented by our community's youngest children.
The Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) funded by a State Advanced Behavioral Health (ABH) grant helps builds capacity of early childhood providers to more effectively address the social and emotional needs of young children at individual, local, regional and statewide levels.
The ECCP program is recognized throughout the state of Connecticut for providing exceptional quality early childhood mental health consultation services and for the consistency of its program structure and delivery. The Center provides services under the Partnership to providers in Fairfield County communities.
Child FIRST Program
Child FIRST (Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training) is a model, home-based early childhood intervention program, embedded in a system of care, that works to decrease the incidence of serious emotional disturbance, developmental and learning problems, and abuse and neglect among the most vulnerable young children and families.
The Challenge: Scientific research in brain development clearly shows that high-risk environments, involving maternal depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, or homelessness, lead to levels of stress that can be "toxic" to the young, developing brain. Without the buffer of strong, nurturing relationships, the results are long-term damage with decreased learning, behavioral and emotional problems and poor health.
The Child FIRST Response: Child FIRST utilizes broad community partnerships for early identification of children from these high-risk environments, or children who show the earliest signs of emotional, behavioral or developmental problems.
Referral to Child FIRST provides:
Intensive home visiting intervention: This comprehensive approach includes assessment and consultation in early care and education; integrated family-driven plans and home-based parent guidance; and parent-child psychotherapeutic services, all conducted by M.A. level mental health/development clinicians and care coordinators.
Care coordination/case management: Equally comprehensive, this system coordinates access to community resources for all family members, through collaboration among early childhood systems of care, councils and agencies. In doing so it provides, simplified, local access to expert resources for all children and families, while preventing duplication, gaps and inefficiency.
Child FIRST Norwalk Partnership: The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County is the lead agency for the Norwalk replication program and partners with Family & Children's Agency and the Norwalk Community Health Center. The Center's program employs two teams, each with a M.A./Ph.D. level child development clinician and a B.A. level parent educator. A senior supervising child development expert supervises both. The program is located at the Norwalk Community Health Center - a major source of referrals from its primary care department.