Tutorial 5 · Partnering with Families in Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
What is the Role of the Family in ECMH Consultation?
Now that we know research supports the importance of partnering with families, how does this happen within early childhood mental health consultation?
Children's greatest resource is their family.
Check off all of the ways in which you feel families can be involved with you and their child's caregivers throughout the consultation process:
Families can be a part of all of the activities listed above. Cohen and Kaufman (2005) state: “Families are considered to be full participants in all aspects of the design, implementation, and evaluation for programs and services for their young children. It is important for consultants to have a strong value toward family partnerships and a clear vision as to how family involvement might progress.”
Head Start/Early Head Start performance standards related to child mental health include many of the activities listed above. Staff at grantee and delegate agencies must work collaboratively with parents to:
These performance standards can be found by going to the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and clicking on the Head Start tab.
For a more thorough explanation of the consultants role, see Tutorial 2: Defining Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and the Consultants Role, Module 2.
Specifically, early childhood mental health consultants can play an important role in helping caregivers to engage in all of the above practices with families through modeling and through direct contact with families during the consultative process. Consultants can set the expectation up front for family involvement by letting caregivers know that it is a critical component of effective services and is a core value of consultation. To accomplish these activities successfully requires strong partnerships among the consultant, caregivers and parents! A goal of consultation is to help foster relationships between caregivers and families that are sustainable once the consultant is gone.
This website was made possible by grant number 90YD0268 from the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views or policies of the funding agency nor does publication in any way constitute an endorsement by the funding agency.