This tutorial was developed by Beth Green and Mary Dallas Allen for the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, an Innovation and Improvement Project funded by the Office of Head Start.
About this Tutorial
Once a Head Start and Early Head Start program has established a clear vision and strategic plan for a program-wide approach to mental health and mental health consultation, program directors and administrators must move forward in implementing and delivering these services. To do so, programs need policies, procedures and structures that support effective consultation. These elements, or infrastructure, bring consultation services to life through contracting, hiring, supervising, reporting, monitoring, and evaluating early childhood mental health consultants and consultation services within the Head Start program. Administrative leadership and a designated workgroup can help assure effective consultation through monitoring for accountability and continuous quality improvement.
Purpose and Overall Goal
The purpose of this tutorial is to provide Head Start and Early Head Start program administrators with ideas and tools to help plan and sustain effective mental health consultation in their programs. Administrators will learn how to write strong job descriptions and contracts for mental health consultants; how to build effective mental health teams or committees to guide and sustain the work of the consultant; and how to implement effective quality assurance and quality improvement feedback loops for consultation services.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
- Write and implement clear, effective job descriptions and contracts for mental health consultants.
- Describe essential considerations and the process of identifying and hiring qualified consultants.
- Describe the importance of ‘mental health teams’ for good consultation services planning and delivery and understand how such a team could be implemented in your program.
- Identify useful strategies for maintaining accountability and ongoing quality improvement for mental health consultation services.
This tutorial is designed to take about 20-30 minutes to complete, although timing may vary from person to person. We recommend completing the training one sitting, but if this is not possible, you can easily pick up where you left off at a later time.
Other than a computer, you will not need any materials to complete this training. You may want to keep a pen/pencil and paper handy to take notes, or have access to a printer to print items that are of particular interest to you.
Throughout this tutorial there may be words or terminology that may be new to you. Please check our glossary by clicking on the direct link at the top of the page or in the left margin. The glossary will open in a new window.
If you have any questions or technical difficulties, please email us. Thank you and we hope you enjoy the training.