Child First, developed by Dr. Darcy Lowell, is an innovative evidence-based model which effectively decreases emotional and behavioral problems, developmental and learning problems, and abuse and neglect among very vulnerable young children (prenatal through age six years) and families. Child First directly addresses these risks through 1) comprehensive, integrated services and supports to the whole family, which decreases risk and increases the capacity of the parent to nurture and support the child, and 2) home-based, parent-child intervention, which builds the nurturing relationship, protects the developing brain and optimizes child emotional development, learning, and health. The effectiveness of the Child First model has been rigorously researched through a randomized clinical trial, demonstrating markedly improved outcomes in child mental health and language, parental stress and depression, protective service involvement, and access to community-based services.
Child First was established in the Bridgeport, Connecticut community over ten years ago. Currently, the model is being disseminated to six communities across the state of Connecticut through the support of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. CHDI is working with Dr. Lowell to disseminate this model through a statewide learning collaborative. To learn more about Child First please contact Darcy Lowell at (203) 384-3626.

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