HHS Launches National Center for Excellence in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pleased to announce the launch of the National Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE), a new $6 million investment to support children’s social emotional development and behavioral health led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families.

Infant and early childhood mental health consultation is a multi-level preventive intervention that builds the capacity of teachers, home visitors, and families to promote social-emotional development and has demonstrated impacts for improving children’s social skills and adult-child relationships; reducing challenging behaviors, expulsions and suspensions; increasing family-school collaboration; increasing classroom quality; and reducing teacher stress, burnout, and turnover.

Research has also shown that a child’s first years of life are critically important for brain development, including the acquisition of social, emotional, and cognitive skills that create a foundation for later school and life success.  That is why one of President Obama’s key priorities is ensuring that all children have access to high quality early learning opportunities and supports that promote children’s healthy development, including social-emotional and behavioral health.Although we know what a difference social-emotional and behavioral health makes in the lives of our children, too many of our nation’s teachers and early learning providers still lack the professional development and supports they need to foster readiness in children they serve.  Social and emotional health is among the most pressing training needs of early educators, and the early childhood system is often lacking in its capacity to provide the kind of support that teachers need to help them promote healthy social emotional development and address the behavioral challenges of young children.  Lack of sufficient training and support results in higher teacher turnover, and can be linked to poorer child outcomes.

Over the next four years, the Center of Excellence will build strong, sustainable mental health consultation systems across states, cities, and tribal communities across the country through the development of culturally responsive state-of-the-art tools, and through the delivery of training and technical assistance. The new Center of Excellence will provide inclusive and culturally sensitive expertise, including a focus on tribal communities. Work will be steered by a group of experts in the early childhood mental health field, including tribal experts, to ensure that the work is culturally responsive to the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families. The unique strengths and needs of tribal communities warrant an intentional focus and strong partnership with tribal nations. The Center of Excellence will include attention to racial and ethnic disparities in exclusionary discipline practices, disparities in access to behavioral health services, and will promote tools and trainings that are culturally responsive and relevant, addressing issues of implicit bias, and benefiting all children, their families, and their caregivers.

The need to better support early childhood professionals with access to training and mental health consultation is particularly acute in  in remote rural and tribal communities, where the geography, limited resources, and lack of infrastructure can be significant barriers to the attraction, retention, and ongoing professional development of teachers and home visitors. Additionally, we know that infants, toddlers, young children and their families in rural communities have mental health needs that are not currently being met because there is a lack of available, accessible, and affordable services for young children. In fact, estimates show that 1.9 million children with mental health difficulties live in areas where there are minimal to no resources available to meet their needs.

This project closely aligns with the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact strategy to address child poverty, which is another of the ways the Obama Administration is addressing the needs of vulnerable young children and families by supporting cross-agency, nonprofit, and private sector partnerships to better serve rural and tribal kids and families.  Expanding access to high-quality early childhood programs that include a strong focus on children’s social-emotional and behavioral health, is a key piece of this strategy.  And this project also aligns with the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative, and the MBK Task Force Report, which recommends building a strong foundation of social-emotional and behavioral health, fostered by warm, enriching, and secure relationships with adults like parents and early learning providers, as an integral component of entering school ready to learn.

Today’s announcement is an important step forward in boosting the quality of early childhood programs and thereby ensuring the healthy social, emotional and behavioral development of young children across the country, including in rural and tribal communities. Though families in rural and tribal communities face a unique set of challenges, they also possess a strong set of assets. The work of the Center of Excellence will build on those assets to improve school readiness, school success, and the well-being of the next generation.

Source: The White House

Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/10/09/hhs-launches-national-center-excellence-infant-and-early-childhood-mental-health

Books for Children Grant Application Guidelines: The Libri Foundation

The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children’s books to small, rural public libraries in the United States through its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program. Only libraries within the 50 states are eligible to apply. The Libri Foundation does not offer grants to libraries outside of the United States.

Libraries are qualified on an individual basis. In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children’s department. Please note: Rural is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000.

Applications are accepted from independent libraries as well as libraries which are part of a county, regional, or cooperative library system. A library system may also apply if all the libraries in the system meet these requirements.

Applications are accepted from school libraries only if they also serve as the public library (i.e. it is open to everyone in the community, has some summer hours, and there is no public library in town).

A branch library may apply if the community it is in meets the definition of rural. If the branch library receives its funding from its parent institution, then the parent institution’s total operating budget, not just the branch library’s total operating budget, must meet the budget restrictions. Please note: Town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $450,000 are rarely given grants. The average total operating budget of a BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipient is less than $40,000.

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipients that have fulfilled all grant requirements, including the final report, may apply for another grant three years after the receipt of their previous grant. Grant recipients that do not fulfill all the grant requirements, including the final report, are not eligible for another grant.

There are three ways to obtain a grant application from The Libri Foundation:

Read the application instructions and fill out the form online. The form must be printed out, STAPLED, signed, and returned to The Libri Foundation via mail.

Link to an Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the form to print out and complete by hand or using a typewriter.

To receive a paper application in the mail, please email your name and your library’s name and mailing address to The Libri Foundation at libri@librifoundation.org. You may also request an application packet by mail, telephone, or fax at the address or phone numbers given on the Libri Foundation home page.

Application deadlines for 2014 are: (postmarked by) January 23rd, May 15th, and August 15th. Grants will be awarded January 31st, May 31st, and August 31st. The names of grant recipients will be posted on the Grant Recipients page within a few days after grants are awarded. Acceptance packets are usually mailed 14-18 days after grants are awarded.

If you want your books in time for your summer reading program, please apply for a January grant.

NOTE: DO NOT waste money sending your application by Express Mail, Certified Mail, etc. The application deadline is based on postmark date, not arrival date.


MINNESOTA Libraries: Please contact the Foundation before applying.



via The Libri Foundation.

Kids in rural areas face distinct health challenges


Children in rural areas are more likely to face different challenges to their health and heave less access to care when compared with children in other areas, according to a new report from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

“The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH): The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation in 2007,” which is published every four years, examined the overall health of rural children in the United States from birth to age 17. The report finds greater prevalence of certain physical, emotional, behavioral and developmental conditions in rural areas.

Source: National Nursing News

Available at: http://news.nurse.com/article/20111030/NATIONAL02/110310036/1003

Department of Education’s Deputy Secretary for Rural Outreach John White to Host Agency’s First Twitter Rural Forum Tomorrow

Event Date 1: August 31, 2011 03:00 pm – 03:30 pm

The U.S. Department of Education’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach John White will host a Twitter Rural Forum at #EDRuralChat on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 3-3:30 p.m. ET. Beginning today, Twitter users can submit questions on rural education to the Deputy Assistant Secretary using the hash tag #EDRuralChat.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held the Department’s first Twitter Town Hall event of any kind on Aug. 24, 2011. Thousands of Twitter users submitted #AskArne questions, and Duncan answered a range of questions related to education reform and supporting student achievement during a town hall conversation moderated by journalist John Merrow.

The Department of Education uses several Twitter accounts to share information and converse with the education community and the American people. Click here for a complete list of ED’s Twitter accounts.

For general news and information about ED, follow @usedgov. To keep up-to-date with Secretary Duncan, follow @ArneDuncan. Justin Hamilton, ED’s Press Secretary, can be found at @EDPressSec, and Massie Ritsch, Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach, shares information and converses with stakeholders, teachers and parents at @ED_Outreach.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Available at: http://www.ed.gov/news/media-advisories/department-educations-deputy-secretary-rural-outreach-john-white-host-agencys-

Rural Health Issues in Pediatric Psychology

The July 2011 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology contains a
special section on rural health issues in pediatric psychology. The special section presents articles that document differences in behavior and psychosocial functioning in children and adolescents residing in rural and non-rural areas as well as how pediatric psychology can help to address the health and psychosocial functioning of children in rural settings. The articles focus on the need for and use of mental and behavioral health services; health behaviors, quality of life, and obesity; and treatment outcome research in rural

Source: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Available at: http://jpepsy.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/6.toc