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Expanding Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services within Northwest Oklahoma

Western Plains Youth and Family Services






Date Submitted: 04/2022


Contact Information:

Associate Professor

Elizabeth Bard

405-271-5700

Elizabeth-Bard@ouhsc.edu

OU - Child Study Center – 1100 NE 13th Street, OKC, OK 73117

Rating Category: Practice Based

Focus Area: Child Development


Focus Population: Children, Caregivers, Guardians, Parents


Goals and Outcomes: The IEMHC has developed an eclectic approach to care and coordination of services. We provide services that address the following areas of concern:


• Child behavior & social emotional issues

• Supporting children and families during the COVID-19 crisis

• Teacher, Director, support staff & Parent support

• Aid in managing classroom issues.

• General stress and coping strategies

• And other concerns related to caring for young children.


In addition to offering the above listed services, it is the intent to also provide professional development to teachers and other early childhood professional by Western Plains Youth and Family team members trained in IECMH. Topics of such professional development trainings include issues of temperament, attachment and relationships, positive interaction and classroom behavior, school readiness, social and emotional disorders, supporting families, behavioral regulation, and identification of services needed. We will also implement the evidence-based training of Circle of Security to help foster and strengthen family connections and positive relationships.


Brief Summary:


Western Plains Youth and Family Services is proposing a solution to a recurring problem in the early childcare centers such as the Early Education Center, Head starts, Schools and Daycares in Woodward and surrounding counties. The recurring problem is that more and more children are experiencing traumatic events at earlier age. The experiences/events have negatively impacted almost every aspect of life for young children. The educational system, childcare system as well as early Child Welfare system often struggle with supporting children and families with appropriate resources that empowers resiliency and strong relationships. The intent of this proposal is to offer evidenced based interventions and resources that supports educators, childcare professionals, Child Welfare professionals and families that are involved with the child every day. The intent of this proposal is to continue and expand this effective program with the goal of strengthening families, preventing DHS involvement/family disruption, monitoring program effectiveness, maintaining school placement and building resiliency in young children. Western Plains Youth and Family Services proposes that evidenced based trained Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consults will be provided to Early Childhood Centers, Head Starts, Schools and Daycare facilities. In addition to supporting the education and childcare centers, the IEMHC will also provide helpful and imperative services to the child welfare system by supporting foster families or helping to maintain the family unit.

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