To achieve its mission, Connected Beginnings relies on the related efforts of many other organizations, agencies, and systems including:
- Early Intervention,
- Early Education and Care,
- Civic leaders, decision-makers, and public administrators who influence or develop policies, promulgate regulations, and make program funding decisions, and
- Institutions of higher education that educate specialists in the helping professions.
Connected Beginnings is part of a complex, value-creating network of activities and organizations that are mutually reinforcing. Through working with other likeminded and collaborative organizations, Connected Beginnings seeks to strengthen the system of family supports in Massachusetts and around the country.
Connected Beginnings’ strategies and activities are targeted to ensure professionals will be able to confidently and effectively help parents and caregivers develop relationships that provide the foundation for children’s learning, health and well-being.
Professional Development in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
To translate research into practice, the training model focuses on:
- Promotion of infant and early childhood mental health – inspiring an awareness of the core importance of the dynamics of relationships within all families and child care experiences and across cultures.
- Prevention of disturbances in early social and emotional development – incorporating the knowledge and skills to identify and address early signs of disturbances in the relational and social-emotional well being of very young children, their parents, and significant caregivers.
- Frontline Therapeutic Intervention – identifying circumstances in which more intensive, specialized, or protective interventions are needed and knowing how to intervene and/or refer to appropriate resources in the community.
Evaluation of Professional Development Efforts
To advance the field of infant and early childhood mental health and ensure that professional development and training activities achieve positive outcomes for professionals, very young children, and their families, Connected Beginnings will maintain an active dialogue between practice and research through implementation of evaluations of professional development activities in collaboration with academic institutions. Connected Beginnings will disseminate findings through white papers, conference presentations, and articles in professional journals.