Natasha Byars, MS, MSW, LICSW, is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow. She is currently the Program Manager for the Massachusetts Young Children’s System of Care Project at Boston Public Health Commission.
This SAMHSA-funded program brings together the three largest cities in Massachusetts around two goals: to integrate family partner–intensive care coordinator teams into primary care, and to support early childhood mental health capacity building in communities and child-serving systems across the state. In this role, Ms. Byars works closely with city health departments, community health centers, and mental health agencies to improve early detection, referral, and mental health service delivery for children from birth to age 6.
Ms. Byars is an active member of the Partnership for Early Childhood Mental Health, whose two-generation LAUNCH/MYCHILD model has been designated a Promising Practice by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and leads the steering team for the Boston Alliance for Young Children’s Social Emotional Wellness. Ms. Byars was previously the Project LAUNCH clinician at Martha Eliot Health Center in Boston, where she collaborated broadly and creatively to enhance promotion, prevention, and intervention supports for families with young children. Previously, she consulted on international SEL curriculum development, worked in an indigenous village in Chiapas, Mexico, and was a social work fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. Ms. Byars graduated with an MS in child development from Erikson Institute and an MSW from Loyola University Chicago. She holds the principles of inclusion, representation, and honoring families as central to her work.