Los Angeles Times • Jul 9, 2021
This story quotes First 5 Managing Director Sarah Crow.
When a parent takes an infant to the Children’s Health Center in San Francisco for a routine checkup, a pediatrician will check the baby’s vitals and ask how the child is doing at home.
Then Janelle Bercun, a licensed clinical social worker, who is also in the room, will look at Mom or Dad and pipe up: What is this like for you? Your frustrations? Joys? Challenges? And she stays to work with the parent long after the pediatrician has left.
The facility’s team-based treatment is a pilot project, funded by philanthropies. Yet the approach, which California may soon incorporate on a large scale, could hold the key to fostering a healthy home environment where children thrive, child development experts say. Incorporating therapy for the parents, they say, can lower a child’s risk of future mental disorders stemming from family trauma and adversity.
Pediatricians’ offices generally don’t offer formal counseling or guidance to a child’s guardian because they can’t bill insurance for these services. That could soon change for the roughly 5.4 million children on Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program for low-income residents, and their parents.
Read the full story in the Los Angeles TImes.
Kathryn Margolis • Jun 9, 2021
Dyadic care models like HealthySteps provide important support to families with young children. Such care is particularly important in this pandemic- recovery time, which exacerbated mental health concerns, family stress, isolation, and income insecurity, particularly for BIPOC families who already face health inequity due to structural racism and oppression.
Sep 24, 2019
California needs a system of care for Medi-Cal eligible infants and toddlers that is grounded in family wellness and community, this paper co-released by First 5 Center and California Children’s Trust asserts.
Sarah Crow • Mar 29, 2021
The time to prepare is now. California can take several steps to address mental and behavioral health concerns of young children ages 0 to 5, their parents, and child care providers over the next year to reduce adverse childhood experiences and build resilience.