Community Bridges

NH Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Competency and Credentialing Project Releases Workforce Development Report

Date posted: August 14, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2012
Contact: Cathy Donohue, Account Manager
Millennium Integrated Marketing
cdonohue@mill-im.com
877-873-7445 ext. 204

(Concord, New Hampshire) – Community Bridges, an agency that advances the integration, growth and interdependence of people with disabilities within their home communities, in partnership with the New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health (NHAIMH), recently released the first of its kind report on the professional development needs of people who serve young children and their families in NH.

This report represents the first effort to measure early childhood and mental health competency, and identify workforce development needs among the wide range of professionals who work with young children and their families across the state of NH.

This past year, 141 professionals working in fields that serve young children and their families; including Early Care and Education, Children’s Behavioral Health, Early Supports and Services, and other home visiting programs, participated in a self-assessment process that evaluated competency and identified professional development needs.

The report is part of a larger project, led by Ellyn Schreiber, director of early childhood services at Community Bridges, and past president and vice president of the NH Association for Infant Mental Health. The ultimate goals of the project are to:

  • Enable hundreds of professionals from child- and family-serving organizations to assess their level of Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Competence (ECGMHC) in core areas for the purposes of professional development
  • Develop preferred competence profiles for various types of service providers
  • Provide data on New Hampshire’s progress in supporting a more competent early childhood and mental health workforce
  • Create and launch a voluntary credentialing system in Early Childhood Mental Health in NH

“All Individuals working with young children and their families require a certain knowledge base and skill set, with additional skills necessary for different areas of specialization,” said Schreiber. “The data from this report is extremely valuable to child-serving agencies and programs state-wide because it will enable them to work together more effectively to develop a workforce that is competent to meet the needs of all NH’s young children and families.”

The next steps of this project are to gather even more workforce development data, use the information to create additional workforce development recommendations, and create and launch an Intermediate and Advanced Early Childhood Mental Health credential in NH.

This project is funded by the Endowment for Health. For more information or the complete report, visit www.nhaimh.org or call Ms. Schreiber at (603) 225-4153.

About The New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health

The NHAIMH was created in 1996 by a small group of mental health and educational professionals. Motivated by their belief in the importance of the mental and emotional well-being of young children and their awareness that this essential aspect of healthy development was not well-recognized by most parents, pediatricians, early childhood and mental health professionals, they established their mission; to identify and distribute information and advocate for public policies to promote positive child development.

About Community Bridges

Community Bridges advances the integration, growth and interdependence of people with disabilities within their home communities. By managing a support network of community resources, Community Bridges matches individuals with disabilities to opportunities that help them realize their greatest potential through an individualized plan.

Serving individuals with disabilities of all ages and financial backgrounds, Community Bridges is a not-for-profit organization that solidifies funding and fosters relationships with a trusted network of organizations throughout the community to ensure the best opportunities for individuals in the areas of Early Childhood Services, Residential and Day Services, Career Development, Homecare Services, Self-Directed Services, and Individual and Family Support. For more information call 603-225-4153 or visit www.communitybridgesnh.org.

Community Bridges is a non-profit agency serving the communities of central New Hampshire. Disability is a natural part of the human experience and may occur as a result of developmental impairments, injury, or aging. We advance the integration, growth, and interdependence of people with disabilities in their home communities in ways that promote their ability to have positive control over the lives they have chosen for themselves.