The Early Childhood Mental Health Family Independence, Resilience, Support, and Treatment (ECMH FIRST) project began in October 2019 and expands the LAUNCH/MYCHILD model previously developed and evaluated by this team to a novel setting.
The direct-service goal of ECMH FIRST is to improve access to high-quality, culturally competent, evidence-based behavioral health services through an innovative Family Partner/Clinician service model for children age 0-48 months and their families in Boston who are involved with the child welfare system.
The project employs a family partner, clinician, and service coordinator to implement the evidence-informed LAUNCH-MYCHILD model to better identify and serve families with children who are either at high risk for social, emotional and/or behavioral problems, or who already show symptoms of severe emotional disturbances.
The project is in the early stages of implementation by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). The evaluation study is being led by researchers at the Institute of Health Equity and Social Justice Research at Northeastern University. Impacts of the intervention on social, emotional and behavioral health of the children and on their caregivers (foster families, birth parents, case workers) will be measured over time, as will the development and improvement of systems for the care of young children with behavioral health needs in Boston, Massachusetts.