The Gardner Family Care Corporation’s Project Prevent will provide access to quality home-based, infant and early childhood behavioral health, case management and parental mentoring services to 820 children during a five-year period, 180 annually. Project Prevent will train 320 professionals in evidence based practices, symptoms of child emotional distress, and indicators of familial substance abuse - expanding the knowledge of the local child-serving workforce.
The children and their families targeted for Project Prevent services are not eligible for publicly funded services due to restrictions based on income and MediCal/MedicAid defined medical necessity. They will be referred from programs serving children for whom credible allegations of neglect and abuse have been verified, or be the children of unemployed parents with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse histories. Most will be of Hispanic, European, or Vietnamese heritage. Participants will be children and families no longer eligible for services from Gardner programs serving children about whom credible allegations of having been abused or neglected have been received, or the children of parents with dual diagnoses of substance abuse and mental illness, and child-patients of seven community health clinics. Additionally, referrals will be sought from a network of 22 First 5 Family Resource Centers, opening new avenues to treatment throughout Santa Clara County.
Project Prevent will additionally expand the capacity of approximately 320 professionals of the local behavioral health and child-serving workforce by providing training in evidence-based practices, basic identification skills of symptoms of early childhood mental and emotional distress, plus the impact of familial substance abuse in child development. All of the Project Prevent team members will advance their knowledge of early childhood mental health evidence-based practices, receiving 80 hours of training in the first months of the grant period and an additional 150 hours annually. Project Prevent will assess for poor mental health or indicators of the child living in an environment at high risk of mental and emotional distress, plus develop service plans specifically to address the assessment results and the family’s desired outcomes. Project Prevent will use evidence-based practices and curricula in home-based treatment. The identified evidence-based practices cover a spectrum of focused treatments and parental skill building. They will lessen the severity of symptoms, prevent regression and be placed into more intensive services, and to increase child safety and positive parenting skills. Tele-monitoring will ease the families into self-direction and self-confidence in positive parenting their child.
Data collection and analysis will be rigorous for continuous quality improvement of the service delivery, accurate and relevant data for funders, local child-serving agencies, and the Gardner leadership. Objective, reliable data also forms the foundation of sustainability – demonstrating to internal and County-wide funders the impact of the services, the testing of pilot forms of service delivery (tele-monitoring) and the results of workforce training.