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Child First NC

What is Child First?

Child First is an evidence‐based, early childhood program that works to prevent or decrease the devastating effects of early childhood adversity. Research shows that extremely high‐stress environments are toxic to a child’s developing brain and will result in lifelong health and emotional problems if nothing is done to intervene.

Child First is a home‐based intervention model that works with the caregiver and child in their home or community.

It is delivered by a two‐person team consisting of (1) a licensed clinician

who specializes in early childhood development; and (2) a family resource partner who works with the entire family unit on the sources of stress that impact their family, and coordinates services for issues, including housing, employment, food, domestic violence, depression, drugs and alcohol issues, and other physical, social and behavioral health services.

How does the program work?

Child First works collaboratively with other programs to serve young children and their families as part of a continuum of supports and services. The program works to create or improve nurturing parent‐child relationships that help protect children from the damage caused by high stress environments (i.e. poverty, homelessness domestic violence or child abuse and neglect).

Child First works! Outcomes from the first randomized controlled trial1 conducted in 2011 are compelling:

Child First in North Carolina

In 2014, Trillium Health Resources joined a committee of key community partners in North Carolina, including Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina as the committee facilitator, to take the lead in exploring the fit and feasibility of bringing the Child First program to the state.

In April 2015, the Child First National Program Office board unanimously approved North Carolina to be the first state replication of Child First. As the primary funder of Child First in North Carolina, Trillium is leading the initial replication of Child First within its catchment area in the eastern part of the state.

To date, Trillium has trained more than 30 Child First clinical teams, partnering with three nonprofit organizations (Easter Seals, Kids First, Power of U) that serve families and children in 21 of the 24 counties within its catchment area.

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Child First NC Locations

Why did Trillium choose to invest in Child First?

Trillium is investing in Child First to address the gap in child mental health services as identified in the agency’s annual Gaps and Needs Reports for 2012‐2015, and in the continuum of care identified by Trillium, the county Departments of Social Services, the Departments of Public Health and physical health care professionals.

Trillium also recognizes that investing in prevention and early childhood mental health intervention programs creates the best possible opportunity to impact and improve the overall health and well-being of an individual for years to come.

For more information contact Anthony Gibson
Office: 252-636-6007 ext. 1365
Cell: 252-764-1145
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