Early Childhood Mental Health

At Applewood Centers, we know that early intervention with children and families is critical for healthy development emotionally, socially and academically. Our experience shows that infants and toddlers can benefit from mental health intervention. This in-home program works with parents and caregivers to help build strong and effective parenting skills and aid in the healthy development of their children.

Our Early Childhood Mental Health services are offered to children up to age 6 who are in homes that are experiencing overwhelming stress or have concerns that might affect the parent’s or caregiver’s ability to parent. Additionally, this program can assist children who are:

  • Victims of domestic violence or other trauma
  • Having sleep difficulties
  • Experiencing attachment difficulties
  • Having any difficult behavior

How the Program Works

During the initial visit an assessment will determine which service best fits the needs of the child. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (offered in Cuyahoga County only) is a family-focused, problem solving, short-term intervention. The service includes needs assessment, action plan development, family education, emotional support, skill building, safety and stabilization, and linkages to community resources and referrals. Sessions are provided in the child’s natural environment as frequently as requested, but generally does not exceed 12 visits.

Early Childhood Mental Health Therapy includes a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, treatment planning, and child and family interventions. Early childhood therapists use play-based interventions to employ the therapeutic techniques needed to address developmental, social/emotional and behavioral problems. A family’s involvement in the program can vary based on need, with reviews done every 90 days. During the appointment, caregivers are provided with concrete activities and ideas to help promote the child’s development. Time will also be spent engaging children in counseling services that address previously identified behavioral health issues.

Children can receive services through this program until they reach age 6. If ongoing services are needed, the family will transition into Applewood’s Early Childhood Clinical Services. Caregivers and parents will be linked with other community resources to support and assist in addressing all the family’s needs. We can also coordinate our care services with staff at a child’s toddler or pre-school program.

Counseling appointments are held primarily in your home, however you can also schedule sessions at Applewood Centers. Evening sessions can be provided.

How to Make a Referral

To make a referral or obtain additional information about how Early Childhood Mental Health services might be beneficial for a young child you know, please call our Intake Department. Our professionals will talk with you confidentially about your concerns and determine if this program would be a good fit.