This study examined preliminary accomplishments of a program integrating substance abuse prevention and treatment, and mental health services into primary health care and early childhood settings serving children ages zero to five and their families and caregivers. The program, “Starting Early Starting Smart (SESS)” is a national, public-private partnership between the Casey Family Programs and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The projects target families with very young children at risk for delayed social-emotional, cognitive and physical development due to risk factors such as substance abuse or mental health problems in the home. The SESS program has two overarching objectives: to improve access to and utilization of a comprehensive set of needed services for families/caregivers and young children; and to improve caregiver behavioral health, family functioning, and child social-emotional development and related outcomes. Preliminary findings indicate the SESS program demonstrates some success: (1) Substance abuse and mental health services for caregivers, families, and children were integrated into the daily activities of primary health care and early childhood settings. (2) Access to and use of caregiver, child, and family services increased. (3) On certain measures, the well being of families, and therefore their nurturing and supportive influences on their youngest members grew stronger, and the infants, toddlers, and children benefited in their early development.
PIC ID: 7884
Agency Sponsor: SAMHSA-CSAP, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Federal Contact: Basen, Michele M., 240-276-2417
Performer: Evaluation, Management & Training, Inc. (EMT), Encino, CA