This brief highlights many notable and emerging successes of grantees in expanding and sustaining services for children and families in the five core Project LAUNCH strategies (screening and assessment; enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional well-being; mental health consultation in early care and education programs; family strengthening and parent skills training; and integration of behavioral health into primary care settings).
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Project LAUNCH grantees employ a broad range of activities that are intended to improve the well-being of infants, young children, and their families. Promotion activities, for example, include public awareness campaigns on the importance of early experiences and the impact of nurturing relationships on child development. Prevention strategies include screening for social and emotional development, home visiting for new parents, mental health consultation, infusing mental health into primary pediatric care, and building resilience in families. Project LAUNCH is based on a public health model, meaning the grant is intended to reach all young children and families who live within a designated community.
Workforce development within Project LAUNCH includes training for service providers to use and deliver specific evidence-based practices, such as Touchpoints, Triple P, or Incredible Years. Other workforce development efforts are intended to train professionals across service delivery systems to ensure all staff who work with children and families are knowledgeable about issues related to child development. Because Project LAUNCH activities are broad based and preventive in nature, they are delivered by various professionals in many different settings. Although this increases the reach of Project LAUNCH, it also increases the number and type of individuals who need to be well versed in child development, family support, and a basic understanding of mental health. Social workers, nurses, child care providers, pediatricians, and home visitors (to name a few) may deliver Project LAUNCH services in early learning programs, family homes, Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms, pediatric clinics, and other community settings.
Project LAUNCH and a public health approach.
One of the premises of Project LAUNCH and a public health approach is that professionals from a wide range of disciplines come into contact with young children and families every day, and they all can play a role in promoting health. Pediatricians, child care providers, teachers, nurses, home visitors, and others may need additional training to be best equipped to promote healthy development, including social and emotional development; to support parents in raising their children; and to identify potential developmental problems and make appropriate referrals. These are areas of knowledge and skill that are not always included in college degree programs, even at the graduate school level.
Training staff across service delivery areas is part of creating a comprehensive, coordinated system.
Project LAUNCH workforce development is intended to create a shared understanding of how best to support the well-being of young children and families. Every grantee provides various training opportunities to support trainings both within and across these service sectors and disciplines. For example, staff from home visiting, preschool programs, child care, and pediatrician practices might all be trained together in how to screen young children’s social-emotional development, identify children at risk, discuss findings with parents, and make appropriate referrals. Other common areas of focus include understanding the effects of trauma, parental depression, family violence, separation, and substance abuse on children and families.
Project LAUNCH workforce development efforts focus on building capacity within the existing early childhood workforce, expanding the use of evidence-based practices, improving quality of service, building cross-sector partnerships, and working with colleges and universities to create new certification programs (e.g., in early childhood mental health consultation or early childhood mental health).
- The Cherokee Home Visiting Consortium consists of home visitors from various agencies that serve Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah, and Wagoner Counties in Oklahoma. It is currently facilitated by Cherokee Nation HERO Project, recipient of the Project LAUNCH grant. The consortium provides home visitors with the opportunity to collaborate with other local home visiting agencies as well as to receive workforce development training. Most recently, 12 home visitors were trained in Stepping Stones Triple P, an evidence-based parenting curriculum for parents of children with disabilities.
- Project LAUNCH in Vermont is conducting 10 training sessions for partner organizations and the community at large on cultural competence. In addition, two trainings on using interpreters are being held for service providers serving new Americans in Chittenden County, which is the most populous county in the state.
- Multnomah County, Oregon Project LAUNCH hosted a Young Child Wellness Summit during the first year of the grant in order to provide cross-sector workforce development and to build community connections. The 1-day summit drew 218 participants from a variety of sectors. The agenda featured a keynote on A Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health, and the opportunity to hear from a new State Representative who had been a longtime early childhood advocate. The workshops were all tied to LAUNCH strategies and community strands. This Summit laid the groundwork for workforce development during the rest of the grant.
- Alabama Project LAUNCH hosted an Early Brain Development and Social/Emotional Health Summit, that included national experts as well as local and state stakeholders. The conference focused on the elationship between early brain development and trauma and its implications for both primary care and early childhood providers.
- In the summer of 2013 the El Paso, Texas Project LAUNCH grantee held its first Growing Great Kids conference. The event focused on promoting child and provider resiliency and self-care. Over 100 providers participated across the three-day event from a diverse audience of professionals in the field of social work, health and human services, nursing and primary care, child care, education, and mental health. Since 2010, New York City Project LAUNCH has delivered Incredible Years® Teacher Training to three ECE sites in the city. Through this program, teachers and teaching assistants have learned to manage classrooms using proactive intervention strategies.
- Boone County Project LAUNCH has provided more than 4,300 physicians, nurses, psychologists, and child care providers with training, coaching, and referral support on the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2).
- Project LAUNCH Illinois provided intensive training on developmentally appropriate primary care that includes mental health topics, trauma, and children’s exposure to violence. Providers attending these trainings represented a wide range of agencies and organizations located throughout the community, including health care, child care, mental health, faith-based, social and community services, arts, home visiting, and advocacy and education. In addition, Project LAUNCH supported the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM), a gender-based trauma model designed to address issues of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in the lives of women who have been economically and socially marginalized and for whom traditional recovery work has been unavailable or ineffective.
This brief highlights many notable and emerging successes of Project LAUNCH grantees in expanding and sustaining workforce development activities in the initial pilot communities and state-wide.
Provides an overview of the qualifications and the professional development activities of the nation’s infant/toddler workforce, based on representative data collected by the National Survey of Early Care and Education.
ACF announced a new Policy Statement on Early Childhood Career Pathways as part of their focus on elevating the early childhood workforce in policy and practice.
Examines comprehensive career pathway systems in the early childhood education (ECE) field. Career pathways, defined as comprehensive education and training systems, provide a sequence of coursework and credentials aligned with industry needs. Pathways offer a much-needed solution to fostering the educational and workforce training needs of adult learners to meet national and regional workforce demands.
Highlights educational opportunities and resources regarding children’s mental health.
Identifies core competencies on integrated practice relevant to behavioral health and primary care providers. The core competencies are intended to serve as a resource for provider organizations as they shape job descriptions, orientation programs, supervision, and performance reviews for workers delivering integrated care.
Reports on workforce issues related to the provision of integrated behavioral health and general health care. It also provides recommendations related to training and education, recruitment and retention, leadership, infrastructure development, and research and evaluation.
This webinar, created for MIECHV programs, considers staff selection and recruitment practices that decrease turnover and increase quality. It discusses how a professional development system can allow for supervisor input and support staff retention.
Summarizes lessons about recruiting and training home visitors for evidence-based programs from grantees participating in the Children’s Bureau’s Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting (EBHV) to Prevent Child Maltreatment grantee cluster.
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