The Evidence Base for How and Why Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultations Works

Authors

  • Kaela M. Tidus Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6961-8592
  • Annie E. Davis Schoch Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2162-4528
  • Deborah F. Perry Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
  • Lauren Rabinovitz Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
  • Neal M Horen Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Keywords:

IECMHC, Early childhood, Early childhood mental health

Abstract

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is an evidence-based service in which consultants build capacity for early childhood professionals and programs to promote the social-emotional development of infants and young children. This paper describes the current state of the evidence for IECMHC, mapping the evidence to a new theory of change from the Center of Excellence (CoE) for IECMHC. There is a substantial literature base regarding the effects of consultation on outcomes for infants and young children; yet the evidence for consultation’s specific mechanisms of change, moderators of impact, and reductions in disparities have been understudied. The authors identify gaps in the scholarly literature, articulate next steps for research, and conclude with a call to action for IECMHC researchers to expand rigorous studies to the range of settings in which IECMHC is implemented and to center social justice in the research questions, methods, and dissemination.

Author Biographies

Kaela M. Tidus, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Kaela Tidus is a Project Researcher for the Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development's SAMHSA funded Center of Excellence on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE). Kaela graduated Cum Laude from American University in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Public Health and International Studies. Her previous experience includes interning at The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, The Child Development Labs at American University, and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. Kaela will be attending UVA's Educational Psychology - Applied Development Science Doctoral Program in Fall 2022. 

Annie E. Davis Schoch, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Annie E. Davis Schoch Ph.D. is an assistant professor on the research track at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. She is a licensed clinical psychologist whose career is focused on providing, evaluating, and improving early childhood mental health services, particularly for historically marginalized communities.

Deborah F. Perry, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Deborah F. Perry, PhD is the Director of Research and Evaluation and a professor at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. In this role, Dr. Perry provides leadership on a broad portfolio of applied research and rigorous program evaluations. Dr. Perry’s research focuses on approaches to designing and testing preventive interventions for low-income young children and their caregivers. An area of focus for her community-based research is the prevention of perinatal depression in high-risk women. Dr. Perry helped develop the evidence base for the effectiveness of early childhood mental health consultation, evaluating several statewide projects in the Washington DC region. She co-chairs the RAINE group—a think tank focused on mental health consultation policy, practice and research and is faculty for the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. She also serves as the external evaluator for several federally funded grants including: Washington DC’s Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, and the SAMHSA-funded early childhood system of care grant in DC. Dr. Perry is the director of research for the Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance—a medical-legal partnership that seeks to reduce the effects of health-harming legal issues for vulnerable families in DC.

Lauren Rabinovitz, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Lauren Rabinovitz, MPH, MSW, LCSW-C is a Senior Policy Associate at the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development, Early Childhood Division. Lauren is the Program Director for the SAMHSA funded Center of Excellence on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Lauren brings a unique perspective to policy, research and technical assistance based on many years of clinical and community mental health provision. Lauren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with specialized training and experience in Early Childhood Mental Health. Lauren’s passion is the intersection of early childhood and population health.

Neal M Horen, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Dr. Neal Horen is a clinical psychologist who has focused on early childhood mental health for the last twenty years. He is Director of the Early Childhood Division for the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Dr. Horen is considered one of the leading national experts on early childhood mental health and early childhood systems. Dr. Horen has worked closely with all 50 states, numerous tribes, territories and communities in supporting their development of systems of care for young children and their families, as well as in Mexico, Lebanon, and Jordan. Mental Health Consultation, Georgetown lead for the MIECHV TA Center, HV-ImpACT and the early childhood lead for the TA Network serving federally funded system of care sites. Dr. Horen has helped to developed innumerable materials related to infant and early childhood mental health consultation including training guides, evaluation guides, monographs and he also continues to be active in providing mental health consultation as part of his clinical practice. He is the proud father of four children, 20, 19, 19 and 3.

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Published

2022-09-01