Pathways Recommendation

Educate providers who work with young children on NC’s infant and early childhood mental health competencies (skills and knowledge). Infuse the competencies into higher education, personnel preparation, and workforce development efforts across child welfare, maternal and child health, parent education, home visiting, early intervention, mental health, pediatric health, and early learning and development sectors. The goal is for these professionals across NC to understand how to promote children’s social-emotional development, how to recognize the risk factors and early signs of social-emotional problems and mental illness in infants, toddlers, & young children, & when a concern should be referred for follow up.

Pathways Action Map > Expectation 4: Social-Emotional Health Action 4.5: Infuse Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies in Provider Education and Professional Development

Why This Matters

Infant and early childhood mental health competencies, such as those supported by the NC Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association,1 can be used as a guide for the development or refinement of training programs, technical assistance, and curricula. Promoting competencies will help to improve the quality of services provided to young children and families by ensuring a cadre of competent providers working across the areas of mental health promotion, prevention, identification, treatment, and intervention.

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