Goal 4: Promote coordination of prevention services
First 5 Humboldt recognizes the importance of integrating the systems that support pregnant women and young children and their families and to collaborate across systems to provide primary prevention and early intervention services and supports for young children and their families in the county.
Action: Plan and maintain collaborative partnerships and linkages
- # collaborative partnerships/linkages/ forums with others serving the target population that 1) share information, resources & data, and/or 2) work to leverage, blend & raise funding to sustain programs, and/or 3) maximize existing resources & reduce duplication of service, and/or 4) plan &/or implement trainings to increase provider skills in working with 0-5 age children and their families
Synopsis related to collaborative partnership and linkages indicator: First 5 Humboldt provides funding to maintain nine on-going partnerships addressing all program areas.
The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative focuses on improving the skills of service providers working to help children meet their developmental potentials. The collaborative is currently implementing a training plan they developed that will help to build Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies among Humboldt County service providers.
Results related to collaborative partnerships/linkages
In 2015, on-going funding partnerships with St. Joseph Health Humboldt County, Humboldt County Office of Education and playgroup partners helped sustain core programs in child health, family strengthening, and early childhood care and education. Linkages with grantees, such as the Humboldt County Library, Redwood Community Action Agency, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and others, allow First 5 Humboldt to support other agencies in leveraging resources and achieving positive child and family outcomes in areas that align with our Strategic Plan.
The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative (0 to 8 MHC) was established with coordination support from First 5 Humboldt in 2010 in order to work toward improving the skills of service providers working to help children meet their developmental potentials. The First 5 Humboldt funded Children and Family Support Specialist and the Children and Family Mental Health and Inclusion Specialist continue to serve as co-coordinators for this effort. The Collaborative’s Leadership Team, comprised of representatives from 15 organizations, serves as a think tank for systems change efforts related to Infant Family and Early Childhood Mental Health (IFECMH). Strategic invitations are extended to those holding positions that are instrumental in systems change. The subcommittee structure has been honed, combining the Certification Subcommittee with the Training Subcommittee and the Outreach Subcommittee with the Systems Change Subcommittee. This has resulted in greater subcommittee participation. The Website and Social Media Subcommittee has been continuing to grow the on-line presence of the 0 to 8 MHC. A major focus of the 0 to 8 MHC over the past six years has been to implement a training plan they developed to help build Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies to better support children in meeting their developmental potentials. Examples of trainings sponsored by the group are discussed in the next Action section.
In 2014, the IFECMH Subcommittee began supporting a cohort of twenty multi-disciplinary Humboldt County service providers in their pursuit of the California IFECMH Endorsement. There are now eight service providers in Humboldt County with this endorsement/certification.
Action: Promote, support, and/or provide accessible regular training and technical assistance to funded programs and other service providers that increase their skills and capacity to provide family-focused services based on resiliency principles
# interagency or other training opportunities and technical assistance that increase provider skills, capacity and service quality, including activities that increase provider skills in assisting children in meeting developmental potentials
Synopsis related to training and technical assistance indicator: First 5 Humboldt funds trainings and provides technical assistance for community members, agencies, and its own funded programs. Additionally, three specialists help staff members at First 5 Humboldt funded programs to be better able to strengthen and support Humboldt County families with young children by building resiliency through strengthening the “five protective factors.” The Children and Family Mental Health and Inclusion Specialist (CFMHIS) and the Children and Family Support Specialist (CFSS), as discussed in earlier sections of the report, not only work with parents and children but also provide assistance to program leaders working with children with special needs at First 5 Humboldt funded playgroups and other programs. Both Specialists work with programs to ensure bottom line and best practices are in place for First 5 Humboldt playgroups and other funded programs. The Cultural Proficiency Specialist provides technical assistance to programs that serve Spanish-speaking families in order to ensure services are culturally appropriate.
First 5 Humboldt regularly funds trainings and provides technical assistance for community members, agencies, and its own funded programs. For example, every year multiple Parent and Family Support (PFS) training opportunities are held for the coordinators/ facilitators of PFS programs to help increase their skills and capacity in providing services. Additionally, some of the funded programs participate in or provide trainings that are promoted, but not funded by, First 5 Humboldt. As discussed earlier in this report, First 5 also provides support to the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative which began sponsoring trainings in 2010.
0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Trainings for 2015
- The four-part Reflective Practice training series was offered again this year:
- What is Reflective Practice, with 25 enrolled Building
- Your Reflective Practice Skills, with 25 enrolled
- Building Your Reflective Supervision Skills, with 15 enrolled
- Reflective Coaching/Mentoring, with 20 enrolled
- A four Part Dynamic of Development Series was offered, featuring teachers from Humboldt State University’s Child Development Department. The Topics were:
- Infant-Toddler Development, with 32 enrolled
- Factors Impacting Development, with 45 enrolled
- Observing and Assessing Young Children, with 35 enrolled
- Risk and Resiliency, with 30 enrolled
- The web-based Neurosequential Model of Education Series, met monthly throughout the year with 25 enrolled
- Building Trauma Responsive Systems (presented to 62 HSU students)
- What We Have Always Known- Child Trauma Academy film and community discussion with15 participants
- Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Core Concepts- two trainings- 65 participants
- Magic and Movement: Tapping into Imagination to Cultivate Executive Functioning, Self Regulation and Cooperation with 35 participants
- Creating Quality Presentations (to improve professional development related to children’s mental health) with 35 participants
- Infant Massage Certification Training with 19 enrolled
In addition to the actual trainings, the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative has a commitment to providing ongoing professional support in order to be responsive to the research that indicates training in isolation of follow up and support is not effective in changing how people provide services. This support is provided in several ways. First, the Website Subcommittee is developing an on-line professional learning community to provide post-training support. Second, post-training support is provided through face-to-face meetings and discussions. A real-time professional learning community has been established to further the development of reflective practice skills, a cornerstone training offered by the Collaborative. This group meets monthly. Third, the Leadership Team meeting time has been restructured to offer a professional support opportunity the first half-hour of each meeting.
Provider Voices about 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Trainings
- I think this has been an amazing new exploration for me, a door has opened and I am taking the first step into a new exciting territory that I believe will help me be more of the teacher, friend, colleague, supervisor I would like to be
- Thank you so much for creating this kind of training for us. It’s a very much needed skill to incorporate into our personal and professional lives. Many thanks
- I would love more from Mary Ann and I find these classes fascinating and only wish they were longer- a ½ or full day. There is so much info that continues to change and expand as we learn more about brains, development, etc.
- Learned lots of techniques that I can use
Trainings and Technical Assistance for playgroups as related to increasing provider skills and capacity
The First 5 Humboldt/Humboldt County Office of Education’s Children and Family Mental Health and Inclusion Specialist (CFMHIS) and the Children and Family Support Specialist (CFSS) work with individual programs in an effort to ensure best practices are in place for First 5 Humboldt playgroups. Based on research about best practices in playgroups world-wide and through discussions locally with child development experts, playgroup leaders, and parents/caregivers of 0-5 children, “bottom line practices” and “best practices” for playgroups were developed across focus areas. Bottom line practices are considered to be the basic standard for program quality and best practices are those that further enhance program quality.
The Specialists conduct site visits to each playgroup to assist them in their efforts to maintain bottom line practices. Programs are monitored on a regular basis to ensure bottom line practices in all focus areas are in place and the Specialists assist playgroup staff in how to best address any bottom line practices that need to be “shored up.”
Results for trainings to increase provider skills in assisting children in meeting developmental potentials
In 2015, the 0 to 8 Mental Health Collaborative hosted or co-hosted trainings both as part of their IFECMH workforce development efforts and in response to community requests. 483 multi-disciplinary participants enrolled in the 16 trainings described in the following section.
Other training and technical assistance activities for First 5 Humboldt Parent and Family Support programs as related to increasing provider skills and capacity
In addition to the efforts mentioned above, the Children and Family Support Specialist (CFSS) provides support to playgroups and other Parent and Family Support (PFS) programs through “Omi On the Road” and an “Ask Omi” column in the HumKids quarterly newsletter. The CFSS and the Children and Family Mental Health and Inclusion Specialist (CFMHIS) visit playgroups on a regular basis and provide child development information, parent education, and resource and referral information to program leaders and to parents/caregivers. The Specialists provide information and guidance to leaders of all First 5 Humboldt playgroups and to other First 5 program leaders to enhance their interactions with parents of children with special needs. Leaders can also get any needed advice/assistance from the Specialists via telephone and email.
The Cultural Proficiency Initiative Specialist (CPIS) provides technical assistance to programs that provide services to programs, including those focusing on Spanish-speakers, in order to ensure services are culturally proficient. This includes First 5 Humboldt funded programs such as playgroups, FRCs, Paso a Paso, Healthy Kids Humboldt, Early Childhood Education efforts, as well as other groups such as the Post Partum Mood Disorder Task Force, the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council, the Food Policy Task Force, and LatinoNet. The CPIS facilitates the Promotores Sub-Committee of the LatinoNet. Humboldt County’s Hispanic/Latino population is the fastest growing ethnic group in the county.
The work of the three specialists described in the sections above helps service providers be better able to strengthen Humboldt County families by building resiliency through strengthening the “five protective factors.” The protective factors are:
- Social Connections
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
- Social and Emotional Competence of Children
- Concrete Support in Times of Need
- Parental Resilience
Provider voices about the work of the Specialists:
- Beth is available almost every week to answer families' questions about child development and the leaders receive training and materials to help with this
- We all really appreciate Meg…She is so warm and friendly while sharing healthy child development information. We are starting a second playgroup that we will be offering a little more structure and information on child development
- We have bi-lingual staff at the CRC to assist with Spanish speaking families. And of course we know Laura…is available to offer assistance if needed
Indicators related to providing family-focused services:
- # programs that include families in the development, implementation & evaluation of services
- # programs that provide cultural & linguistically proficient services that respect family traditions & serve the whole family
- # programs provided at natural access points for families
- # programs providing family-friendly services Parents are more connected to services and help they need
- # programs providing services/activities to assist children in meeting developmental potentials
Synopsis for results related to providing family focused services indicators: Data from the First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey show that a very large majority of survey respondents feel staff at funded programs were respectful of them, their family and culture and really listened to their ideas and suggestions. First 5 Humboldt partners with other agencies/groups to provide services/activities to assist children in meeting their developmental potentials.
First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey and Program Staff Survey results related to the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support principles/resiliency principles
In 2013, First 5 Humboldt began incorporating the principles and practices of the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support during their work with various First 5 Humboldt funded programs. As discussed earlier, First 5 Humboldt provides and/or funds training and technical assistance to its funded programs throughout the year. Two trainings, one in 2014 and one in 2015, on building the “five protective factors” into programs were offered to Parent and Family Support programs Whether or not the trainings and the technical assistance activities contribute to the provision of accessible, family friendly services based on the Standards of Quality/Five Protective Factors can be gleaned from the Participant Surveys.
Starting in 2014, questions from the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support standardized survey were included in the Participant Survey. In 2015, 75%-99.7% of survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the positive statements related to the program they participate in. In 2014, 74.7% - 100% of survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the positive statements.
In 2015, 40 staff and supervisors from seventeen First 5 Humboldt funded programs completed a survey based on the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support Staff standardized Participant Survey and Staff Self-Reflection Checklist.
Survey results show that 90%-100% of the survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the positive statements related to their program’s services and activities.
Parent voices about what would improve services/activities:
- Some way to encourage friendships among parents?
- More structured and longer circle time
- More art and craft activities, speakers to talk about various issues in parenting.
- I liked when a woman was brought in for new songs for circle time. Maybe local artists could come for entertainment (circle time, etc)
- Afternoon options would be useful
- It could happen more often
- More advertising in the community
- To have an afternoon playgroup would be nice sometimes
- This may be outside the scope of the playgroup, but maybe set times for parents to get together other than a playgroup. That way it would be easier to make friendships
- More programs, anger management, etc. Kid counseling
- Opening more days of the month or hours of the day
- At our last First 5 play group there were organized activities like story time and games like pass the bean bag. It would be nice to have activities like that
Results related to providing services/activities to assist children in meeting developmental potentials
As discussed earlier in this report, First 5 Humboldt, in collaboration with a number of other organizations, supports a variety of efforts in this area including the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, the Children and Family Support Specialist, the Children and Family Mental Health and Inclusion Specialist, Nurse Family Partnership, and various Parent and Family Support programs. Additionally, to better assist children in meeting their developmental potential, in prior years funding was provided through a partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education to help open a total of five classrooms for young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These classrooms continue to serve 0-5 age children. One classroom serves children ages 18-36 months and four classrooms serve children ages 3-5.