Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Service Description: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health services are for infants, toddlers, and young children with impairing mental health symptoms and/or developmental needs.  These services allow for the assessment and treatment of infants and young children.  The assessment process includes a DC:0-5 Diagnostic Assessment.  Additional psychotherapeutic services may include Family Psychotherapy, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and/or in-home Family Skills services.

Location(s): Pine City, Cambridge, Anoka, Mental Health Services in Schools  

Ages: Birth-5 

Typical Frequency of Service: Three observations are needed for the completion of the DC:0-5 Diagnostic Assessment.  Psychotherapeutic care is often once per week.  Frequency and duration of therapy and skills sessions is dependent upon the needs of the Client.                                                                                                                                                  

Service Components:

  • DC:0-5 Assessment
  • Family Therapy
  • Family Skills Training
  • Professional Coordination
  • Psychoeducation

Additional Information: 

Children ages birth to 5 may experience emotional, behavioral, or developmental symptoms that are not typical based on expected growth and skills for a child’s developmental trajectory.  These are thoroughly assessed and continued care is provided if necessary.

DC:0-5 Diagnostic Assessment - is the tool utilized to assess the emotional, behavioral and developmental functioning of an infant or young child.  It is required that families participate in three separate sessions in which a trained clinician will obtain a detailed history of the child, collect developmental checklists/forms from the caregiver that assess for emotional, behavioral, and developmental functioning, observe the child, and observe the child/caregiver relationship.  The formal assessment results in diagnoses and recommendations specific to the child’s needs.

Family Therapy – The foundation of growth and development is in the caregiving relationship. Family therapy can help caregivers and children organize their experiences, put meaning to their experiences and behaviors, find regulation and safety in their caregiving relationship, and enhance a child’s growth and development through the caregiving relationship pattern.   Family therapy also focuses on the well-being of the caregiver by promoting understanding, empathy, and enhancing a caregiver’s ability to reflect on the experience of the child.

Family skills may be included in the treatment planning for infants and young children. Family skills are offered to address dynamics in the family system that may be impacting the child’s mental health functioning, growth, or development.  It is utilized to provide psychoeducation to the family, help the caregiver increase their parenting skill set to support with their child’s emotion regulation and behavior modification, and help young children learn skills to effectively cope with emotions and stressors.

Professional Coordination – Collaboration with other professionals and/or agencies in a child’s life is essential. We believe coordination of services and “wrap-around” support is key to improving a client’s mental health and supporting the family system. Clinicians, with permission, may coordinate with the child’s medical and/or mental health service providers within our agency and from neighboring agencies, county social workers, child-care providers, early childhood education specialist, or any other members of the child’s support system.

Treatment focus include, and are not limited to:   

  • Emotional Regulation
  • Improving the Child’s Regulatory Functioning
  • Enhancing the Child/Caregiver Relationship        
  • Supporting a Child’s Growth and Development
  • Supporting the Caregiver
  • Behavior Management
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Esteem
  • Decision Making
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship Development
  • Coping Skills

For more information or to make a referral:

  • Call 320-629-7600 or 651-224-4114
  • Visit our Referral page