Professional Resource

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DC:0–5 and Los Angeles County’s Efforts to Build the Birth Through 5 Mental Health Workforce

Dec 12, 2021

Marian E. Williams, University of Southern California; Kathleen Mulrooney, ZERO TO THREE, Washington, DC; Ashley Rediker, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Los Angeles, California; Debbie Reno-Smith, Riverside County, California; and Noelle Hause, ZERO TO THREE, Washington, DC

Abstract ZERO TO THREE and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) collaborated and contracted to provide official DC:0–5TM clinical training and foundational infant and early childhood mental health training to clinicians from Los Angeles (LA) County, California, over the course of 3 years. This article describes this unique, multiyear clinical workforce development effort highlighting the specific training approaches and supports used, considerations for sustainability, DC:0–5 Expert Faculty reflections, and participants’ feedback. The authors provide recommendations for possible replication of this intensive workforce development effort.

In 2017, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and ZERO TO THREE agreed to embark on a multiyear professional development project to bring DC:0–5 clinical training and supports, as well as other infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) offerings, to a vast number of professionals serving organizations funded by LACDMH. DC:0–5TM: Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (ZERO TO THREE, 2016) represents an updated diagnostic classification system for diagnosing disorders in infants and young children that is comprehensive in scope, empirically based, developmentally appropriate, contextually driven, and culturally informed. LACDMH had previously provided training on the prior version of this classification system (DC:0–3R; ZERO TO THREE, 2005) and was highly motivated to make DC:0–5 training available at a much more intensive level to as many clinicians throughout Los Angeles (LA) County as possible. In this article, the authors will present the history and context of the IECMH workforce in LA County, the comprehensive array of professional development and learning support delivered through the ZERO TO THREE–LACDMH contracts, reflections from two key DC:0–5 Expert Faculty, as well as conclusions and recommendations.

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