Child FIRST

Child FIRST Through Child & Family Agency of SE CT

Child FIRST (Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training) is a model of home-based early childhood intervention which 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 (e.g., where there is 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 potential results to young children are long-term damage with decreased learning, increased behavioral and emotional problems, and poor health.

The Child FIRST Response

Broad community partnerships lead to early identification of children from very high-risk environments or who show the earliest signs of emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems.

Intensive home visiting intervention

This includes comprehensive assessment, integrated family-driven plans, and home-based parent guidance and parent-child psychotherapeutic services. This is provided by a team of a Master’s level mental health/developmental clinician and a Bachelor’s level care coordinator. Assessment and consultation in early care and education is a component of this comprehensive approach.

Care Coordination & Case Management

This includes coordinated, hands-on connection to community resources for all family members, promoted by strong collaborative relationships through local, community early childhood Systems of Care or councils. This prevents duplication, gaps, and inefficiency.

The Facts

Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training is a model of home-based early childhood intervention which 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.

Broad community partnerships lead to early identification of children from very high-risk environments or who show the earliest signs of emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems.