Policy Resource

Think Babies™ Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Resource List

Download Files Mar 9, 2018

Infants and toddlers need access to a full continuum of infant and early childhood mental health services. This annotated resource list includes a range of materials, such as policy briefs, fact sheets, websites and tools, to help stakeholders learn about the issue.

ZERO TO THREE Resources

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Policy Series, ZERO TO THREE, 2017 – This series of short briefing papers on infant and early childhood mental health (IE policy are designed to generate awareness, interest, and action among federal and state policymakers, behavioral health administrators, and advocates. Each paper provides an overview of the topic, a summary of key terms, and policy recommendations. Topics include:

  1. The Basics of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
  2. DC:0–5™: Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood
  3. DC:0–5™ Crosswalk
  4. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
  5. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies

Planting Seeds in Fertile Ground: Actions Every Policymaker Should Take to Advance Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, ZERO TO THREE and Manatt Health, May 2016 – This policy brief and archived webinar highlight five broad strategies states can employ to strengthen infant and early childhood mental health (I-ECMH) policies and support healthy development of young children. It discusses why IECMH is important, suggests specific actions states can take in each of the five strategies, and shares state examples.

Public Perceptions of Baby Brain Development: A National Survey of Voters, ZERO TO THREE and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, September 2017 – This research tested messages and policies about the importance of supporting the emotional development of young children ages zero to three with voters. Research findings, a recording of the webinar releasing the report, and a social media toolkit are available.

Expanding Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Supports and Services: A Planning Tool for States and Communities, ZERO TO THREE, 2017 – This action-oriented policy planning tool provides a framework for convening individuals who share an interest in the well-being of children and families. It can be used to help organize planning, inventory existing resources to identify gaps and needs, and create shared goals for services delivery that aligns with best practices in IECMH. It guides you through data collection and analysis across six areas of consideration: continuum of services and supports; workforce capacity; embedding IECMH across childserving systems; comprehensive system-wide planning and infrastructure; financing; and effective messaging.

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Policies and Practices to Foster the Social-Emotional Development of Young Children, ZERO TO THREE, 2016 – This publication provides an overview of early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC), a snapshot of current programs across the nation, and some of the challenges and innovations that are shaping the field. Thirteen states are profiled, underscoring the variability of how ECMHC programs are funded, managed, implemented, and staffed. A list of guiding questions is also provided for states to consider in designing and creating their ECMHC program.

ZERO TO THREE Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Policy Convening Report, ZERO TO THREE, 2017 – ZERO TO THREE brought ten states together for a meeting in October 2016 around the topic of infant and early childhood mental health, with a specific focus on strategies to improve assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This report provides a summary of the proceedings from that meeting, including presentations from experts, cross-state and cross-sector discussion sessions and development of state action plans focused on IECMH financing policy.

Mental Health Services: A Critical Support for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, ZERO TO THREE and CLASP, 2017 – This paper is part of a series describing 13 policies core to advancing infant-toddler well-being in four essential areas: high quality early care and education opportunities; strong parents; economically stable families; and healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy parents. It discusses the importance of children and parents having access to appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment services to meet their mental health needs.

Nurturing Change: State Strategies for Improving Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, ZERO TO THREE, 2013 – This policy paper describes some of the promising strategies states have employed to address infant and early childhood mental health (I-ECMH) access, delivery, financing, evidence-base and systems-level issues across the promotion, prevention and treatment continuum. In addition to the six states profiled, the paper offers strategic questions for states to consider in planning for I-ECMH.

Making It Happen: Overcoming Barriers to Providing Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health, ZERO TO THREE, 2012 – This report is intended to illuminate the scientific evidence for I-ECMH policies; examine issues faced by national, state, and local program directors and mental health practitioners in providing I-ECMH services; and propose a set of recommendations for policy improvements at the federal level.

State Initiative articles discussing infant and early childhood mental health – ZERO TO THREE’s State Initiatives is a collection of articles highlighting innovative actions states have taken to improve wellbeing for infants and toddlers.

Additional Resources

Using Medicaid To Help Young Children and Parents Access Mental Health Services: Results of a 50-State Survey, National Center for Children in Poverty, updated March 2017 – This brief examines states’ use of Medicaid as a key source of funding for early childhood mental health services.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Toolbox, The Center of Excellence for IECMHC, 2017 – This toolbox includes planning tools, guides, videos and other resources to support IECMHC efforts in states, tribes and communities. The Center of Excellence is funded by SAMHSA. The content of the toolbox is being piloted in 14 states and tribal communities through technical assistance provided by the Center of Excellence.

Supporting Social and Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children in RTT-ELC States – The Pyramid Model and Other Initiatives, Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance Program, January, 2015 – This report describes how states with Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants have used the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children and other projects states have designed to support social and emotional competence in infants and young children.

Addressing Early Childhood Emotional and Behavioral Problems, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Early Childhood, AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, AAP Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, November, 2016 – This policy statement provides a summary of empirically supported approaches for children with clinical disorders that warrant targeted treatment for emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems, describes readily identifiable barriers to accessing quality evidence-based interventions, and proposes recommendations to enhance the care of young children.

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