Beginning at the Beginning: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation in Infant & Toddler Care - Part III

TTAC was pleased to host an informative 3- part webinar series titled Beginning at the Beginning: Mental Health Consultation in Infant & Toddler Care presented by Kadija Johnston, LCSW. The webinar series highlighted that Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) recognizes the centrality of the provider- child relationship. ECMHC is aimed at supporting, or when need be enhancing, relational health between children and those who care for them, as well as among adults in early care and education settings and systems.

Part 3 Description:

The first two sessions of this webinar series described the theoretical premises and essential elements of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. The relationally focused, dynamically and equity informed model served as foundational grounding for this webinar. This concluding segment focused on the unique characteristics and concerns that arise when consulting around the care of infants and toddlers. Specific attention was paid to the particularities of Family Child Care as the setting in which most infants and toddlers are cared for. Regardless of the venue, caring for babies typically elicits powerful protective urges in caregivers. The impact of these biologically driven impulses on providers, parents and their relationships with a child and one another was highlighted. The reluctance to, as well as the benefits of, identifying mental health and developmental difficulties in infants and toddlers was addressed. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation’s ability to adapt and attend to these and other particularities of providing care for infants and toddlers was explored.


Webinar Resources:

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


About the Presenter

Kadija Johnston L.C.S.W is the Director of the Infant-Parent Program (IPP), in the Division of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She has been a practitioner in the field of infant and early childhood mental health (I/ECMH) since 1985. She developed the Infant-Parent Program’s Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Consultation component in 1988, which now serves as a model for other organizations, locally, nationally and internationally. She has provided TA and training in I/ECMH Consultation to organizations in 23 states and internationally. She serves as an expert advisor for the SAMHSA supported Center of Excellence in ECMH Consultation and is a founding member of RAINE, a group of national experts advancing practice, policy and research in ECMH Consultation.

Ms. Johnston writes and lectures nationally on infant and early childhood mental health consultation. In addition to numerous articles on the subject, she co-authored Mental Health Consultation in Child Care: Transforming Relationships With Directors, Staff, and Families with Dr. Charles Brinamen, for which they were awarded the Irving B. Harris Award for contributions to early childhood scholarship.   Ms. Johnston also trains in the areas of perinatal, infant and early childhood mental health service modalities; reflective supervision, mental health systems integration and mental health service disparities for underserved children and families.