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A Presentation at NASP, 2011 Conference

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1 A Presentation at NASP, 2011 Conference
Implementing Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation in Urban Childcare Centers A Presentation at NASP, 2011 Conference San Francisco, CA Tuesday, February 22, 2011 Shannon Sweitzer, Ph.D., PCOM School Psychology Annemarie Clarke, Ph.D., SPIN, Inc. Behavioral & Developmental Services

2 Goals for Today Establish the rationale for ECMH Consultation within Early Care and Education Programs Link ECMH outcomes to academic achievement Review projects/programs implemented within Philadelphia, PA Discuss future of this work in ECE programs

3 Why Early Childhood Mental Health?
10 – 15% of all typically developing preschool children will have chronic mild to moderate levels of behavior problems Think “PBS”/”SWEBS” Models from School-Age Programming Children who are poor or developing atypically are more likely to develop behavior problems at a rate approaching 30% ( Campbell, 2002; Qi & Kaiser, 2003).

4 Risk Factors and Outcomes
Adverse Childhood Experiences Study As the number of ACES increases, so does the risk of disease, victimization, unhealthy behaviors, impairment, disability, and premature death. Substance Abuse, one or no parents, mental illness, mother treated violently, criminal behavior, incarcerated household member, Abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), & neglect (emotional or physical). Living at or below the poverty level is associated with higher prevalence of risk factors to emotional health & well being & diminished protective factors.

5 Philadelphia’s Children
Philadelphia recently named as the poorest of America’s largest cities…… Approximately 26% of the city’s families with children under 18 years of age live at or below the federally established poverty level (US Census, 2000) Among those same households with children under 5 years of age, the figure jumps to over 31% When single parent households alone are analyzed, the number of children under 18 living at or below poverty jumps to nearly 41% (US Census, 2000) Among those same households with children under 5 years of age, the figure jumps to over 47%

6 Philadelphia’s Children
Availability of behavioral health treatment for young children in Southeastern PA continues to be a problem Lack of child psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals with particular expertise in early childhood Lack of available intervention and treatment options According to a report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY, 2008), there are approximately 128,000 children and adolescents with mild to severe behavioral health problems in Philadelphia, yet only 22.8% (22,900 children) of them receive behavioral health services. 48% of local early care and education programs reported removing, suspending, or expelling at least one child over the past year as a result of behavioral concerns (PCCY, 2008)

7 Pennsylvania’s Response
Instituted Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to connect all early childhood-serving systems Developed both Infant-Toddler and Pre-K Standards to be implemented in all early care and education (ECE) programs Strong focus on social-emotional/behavioral standards Hired state-wide ECMH Consultants to begin to address issues Implemented “Keystone Stars Program” with a focus on continuous quality improvement for all ECE providers Use of both ITERS (Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale) and ECERS (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale) to support strengthening programming at Tier 1 Level

8 Pennsylvania’s Response
Used ARRA funds ( ) to support the implementation of an ECE PBS program state-wide Implemented with consulting teams at a county level in limited number of ECE centers External “coaching team” collaborated with each center’s “core team” to gather child- and classroom-specific data, monitor behavioral incidents, provide professional development re: behavior management, and improve internal capacity

9 Pennsylvania’s Response Cont.
AARA funds cont: Built on the platform of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Social-Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) Emphasis is on ECMH Consultation and skill transfer to the internal teams at participating sites to facilitate sustainability beyond grant

10 CSEFEL Framework

11 WHY? Linking Emotional Health & Academics
Social emotional difficulties negatively impact school readiness and academic achievement in urban youth (Fantuzzo, 2007; Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, 2006). Difficulties demonstrated across other domains impacts a child’s ability to develop typical peer relationships and behave in ways conducive to learning (Pianta, Nimetz, & Bennett, 1997; Vaughn, Hogan, Lancelotta, & Shapiro, 1992).

12 WHY? Linking Emotional Health & Academics
Ratings of first graders on items describing a cheerful, outgoing temperament predicted adult educational attainment better than preschool or first grade achievement scores (Entwistle et al.,2005) Children with consistently high levels of aggression from ages 2 -9 were more likely than other children to have achievement problems in third grade (NICHD, 2004) On-grade achievement in third grade is strong predictor of high-school graduation

13 WHY? Linking Emotional Health & Academics
Teachers and challenging behaviors: Professionals within early childhood programs have historically received little training in behavior support/management Nationwide survey of teachers across all grade levels indicated that teachers feel a strong need for additional training and support in classroom management (Coalition for Psychology in the Schools and Education, 2006). Leads to stress, burnout, and turnover

14 Other Philadelphia/Pennsylvania Initiatives

15 What’s Happening? Varied……Somewhat fragmented…… Integration is emerging gradually….. Statewide ECMH workgroup and Philadelphia’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health provided backdrop Variety of smaller/larger projects funded through assorted stakeholders with similar goals but different approaches

16 SPIN’s ECMH Grant ( ) Funded under a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts Paralleled the framework of the CSEFEL Pyramid Model, however, it provided a more intensive site-wide approach to ECMH consultation Major goal was “capacity building” to increase professionals trained to work in this area Five (5) sites per year received at least 8 hours of ECMH consultation services per week Each consultant provided three tiers of service based on components of Incredible Years curriculum (Webster-Stratton)

17 SPIN’s ECMH Grant ( ) Incredible Years Curriculum (Webster-Stratton) Multi-pronged approach: Direct social skills instruction for children through “circle time” activities Consultation and training on issues related to social-emotional development to teachers and directors Parent training program ALSO: offered an option for one-on-one intensive intervention (therapy/clinical services) for children/families requiring more intensive support or unable to attend parenting group.

18 Annual Timeline of Service Provision
August/September: Centers enrolled in grant September/October: Observations, initial data collection, information provided to teachers and parents regarding program November-May: Dinosaur School Runs; curriculum focuses on: feelings; problem solving skills; anger management; friendship skills January: Mock Dinosaur School “assembly” for parents to solicit participation in Parenting Groups January-May: Parenting Group runs Ongoing: Teacher and Director consultations on variety of topics related to childhood development, collaborating with parents, child-specific or classroom management PBS strategies; classroom modeling; individual therapy with parents

19 Children’s Program Also called Dinosaur School Emotional literacy
Perspective taking Friendship skills Anger management Interpersonal problem-solving

20 Teacher Program of IY Skills include:
Effective use of teacher coaching skills Attention, praise and encouragement Use of incentives for difficult behavior problems Proactive teaching strategies How to manage inappropriate classroom behaviors with discipline hierarchies The importance of building positive relationships with students How to teach empathy, social skills and problem-solving in the classroom.

21 Parenting Program of IY
Skills include: How to play with children Effective praise and use of incentives Establishing predictable routines and rules Promoting responsibility Effective limit-setting Strategies to manage misbehavior Teaching children to problem solve.

22 Research Supporting the IY Curriculum
Studies by both Carolyn Webster Stratton (author) as well as independent evaluators support the curriculum as effective in the prevention of and intervention with children within clinical populations, as well as within general populations Parent: Beauchaine, et al., 2005; Reid, et al., 2003; Scott, 2001; Taylor, Schmidt, Pepler, & Hodgins, 1998; Webster-Stratton, 1992 ; Webster-Stratton, et al., 2004 Teacher: Webster-Stratton & Reid, 1999; Webster-Stratton et al., 2004 Child: Webster-Stratton, 2004 ; Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997 Above studies described at

23 Results Year Children Teachers Parent Group Individual 1 210 26 30 2
2 252 47 41 13 3 201 31 40

24 Results: Teachers Years 2 & 3:
79% increased or stayed the same in their ability to use positive approaches in relating to parents if young children regarding their challenging behaviors. 67% teachers demonstrated an increased use of both proactive strategies and praise and incentives to support appropriate behavior 79% decreased use of inappropriate behavioral strategies 62% increased their skill for setting limits

25 Results: Parents Years 2 & 3
77% report increase in their use of positive parenting practices with their children 69% report increase in their overall positive attitude toward their relationship with their children 85% reported a decrease in negative attitude toward their children 58% reported a decrease in the use of harsh parenting practices 65% reported being more consistent in parenting

26 Results: Children Children demonstrated improved social skills and self regulation behaviors evidenced by qualitative reports from teachers and parents. Beneficial to measure child progress through a more defined process, such as behavior rating scales over time.

27 Challenges Student Transiency
Parents preferred drop-in consultation approach rather than parent group This is similar to a direction that is emerging where BH services are structured within other primary services Teacher Turnover

28 Other Activities Currently at least 2 additional grants focusing on ECMH funded through The Pew Charitable Trusts City’s Mayor’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee Exploring additional avenues to address social-behavioral/emotional development through pilot programs State is exploring methods for continuing PBS work done for past two years under ARRA grant project; future uncertain at this date Retracted social service funds will likely impede the speed of progress of this work

29 Areas for Future Development – School Psychology’s Role
Develop a formal observation system to measure a classroom’s climate as well as the quality of teacher-child interactions Create a less expensive, more teacher-friendly social-emotional preschool curriculum Establish prevention and intervention programs for families within visible, easily accessible, and frequently utilized centers (e.g. child care centers or primary care offices). This will likely emerge through healthcare reform initiatives that seek to embed/marry primary care medicine and behavioral health services

30 For more information…. Shannon Sweitzer, Ph.D.
Annemarie Clarke, Ph.D.

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