Mental Health Consultation
The Head Start Performance Standards require programs to secure mental health consultation services of sufficient frequency, to ensure the consultant is available to partner with staff and families in a timely manner.
LLHS and EHS provide a monthly schedule of consultation and observation for each site. Teachers may request other consultation times by contacting the consultant. Parents are provided with a schedule of when the consultant is on site, and contact information if there is a need other than the time scheduled.
Teachers participate in monthly reflective consultation with a mental health consultant, to support the work they do with children and families.
What is infant and early childhood consultation?
Infant and early childhood mental health consultation is an evidence-based intervention for supporting young children’s social/emotional development and addressing challenging behaviors. This process supports early care professionals including classroom teachers and home visitors to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children in early care and education programs. This process works to build the capacity of staff, families, and programs to prevent, identify, treat, and reduce the impact of mental health problems among children from birth to age 6 and their families.
To further support families in a mental health consultant role, developmental training guided by The Incredible Years curriculum and Conscious Discipline will included. These evidence-based tools will support parents at each stage of development, as well as guide teachers for in-classroom supports.
Mental health consultation also includes engaging teaching staff in a professional development format, including a collaborative relationship for professional growth that improves quality and practice by cherishing strengths and partnering around vulnerabilities to generate growth. Through regular implementation, staff member’s professional growth and personal discovery can unfold.