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Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (ECFMH)

Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (ECFMH) services work from a family-centered approach, are strengths-based, support the development of protective factors and the reduction of risk factors, focus on developing nurturing relationships between parents and children, and educate around the impact that relationships, positive social interactions and nurturing have on early brain development. 

Early Childhood and Family Mental Health services are available to provide clinical intervention for children ages 0-8 years old who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioral struggles and their families. Services can help young children develop the social and emotional skills necessary to be ready for kindergarten.  Throughout Vermont, the Designated Agency in each region (or their designee) can provide the following services to help a child and family meet identified needs:

  • Clinical assessment
  • Service planning and coordination
  • Individual and group community supports
  • Respite
  • Individual and family therapy
  • Medication monitoring
  • Consultation with early care and learning settings and other key partners

As much as possible, services and supports will be provided in the natural settings and build on the natural routines that children and families experience in their homes, at child care or school, and with their health care providers and other community contacts. 

In some regions, the Designated Agency is also able to provide mental health and behavioral consultation to childcare centers and other providers around specific children and/or general behavior management subjects and how to create a positive climate for social-emotional development. 

DMH has also supported the Designated Agencies to implement evidence-based treatment practices that can be used with young children who have experienced trauma or are exhibiting behavioral challenges and their families.  These treatment practices include, but are not limited to:

  • ARC – The Attachment, Regulation and Competency Framework
  • PCIT – The Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
  • CPP – Child-Parent Psychotherapy

For additional information on Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Services, please click here.

For other early childhood supports and services, please visit Children’s Integrated Services at