published on October 9, 2014 - 10:28 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Central California Children’s Institute at Fresno State was awarded a $502,000 grant to fund clinician training in infant mental health. The three-year funding will support the Enhancing Cultural Competencies in Clinical Settings (4C Project) through training for relationship-based, culturally competent clinical care for children up to 5 years old. 

The project will have four phases and focus primarily on clinicians who work with children who have behavioral and developmental challenges like lack of vocalization or acting out. 

“Children who develop behavioral problems early in their childhood require early attention to reduce the potential long-term impact on a child’s mental health,” Cassandra Joubert, director of CCCI, said in a prepared statement. “We need to teach practitioners the importance of positive relationships and early experiences for young children, and the implications on their social and mental development.”

The 4C Project will include participants from Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties each working on various treatment approaches and strategies. It is expected to be completed in June 2017. 

Joubert said the project should serve as a catalyst and increase local awareness of the relatively new field of infant mental health. 

“It is an interdisciplinary field of practice that involves so many different disciplines, from child and family studies to psychology to social work,” she said. “Hopefully have this new community-based training in place will lead to courses in infant mental health being in college curriculum three to five years from now.”

The project was funded by the Central Valley Regional Center and the Mental Health Services Act along with the California Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services.

The grant money will be used to cover program expenses including development, materials and stipends for speakers. 

The CCCI works in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State to provide research and resources necessary for meeting the health and human service needs of the Central Valley. 

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