Children's Bureau Discretionary ECCW Grant Program: The Early Childhood Collaborative, Connecticut Final Report.
The Early Childhood Collaborative. James Bell Associates, Inc.
Grantee Final Report
Published: DEcember 2013
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This final report discusses the activities and accomplishments of a federally funded project designed to build upon and expand the long standing collaboration between the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Connecticut Office of Head Start. The goal of the DCF-Head Start Partnership was to build local community partnerships that maximize enrollment and attendance of infants and young children ages birth to five years, especially foster children, into comprehensive, high quality early care and education and mental health programs. The program sought to partner with the Center for Social Policy and the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health to cross train partnership members on a shared protective factors frame for action, trauma informed interventions, and infant mental health and resiliency, identify strategic opportunities to infuse a protective factors approach into policy and practice tools, enhance the data collection, and expand the DCF-Head Start partnership. Evaluation of the project included training pre- and post-tests. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection strategies were used. Findings from the evaluation indicate the most significant outcome of this project was related to the change created by the training components. Training activities significantly increased knowledge and created and strengthened partnership among community agencies and providers. The Strengthening Families training fostered the use of the Protective Factors Framework for connecting services and supporting families. The Infant Mental Health reflective supervision and training series fostered a common understanding of infant trauma and parent-infant relationships, creating a unified approach for assessing family needs and supporting their recovery. Policy implications and recommendations are discussed.
connecticut; early childhood education; foster children; early intervention programs; interagency collaboration; referral; professional training