The course is comprised of eight modules.
Module 1: Welcome, Orientation, and Certificate Program Overview
This module will be an orientation for participants. We will provide an overview of a) the certificate program, b) the roles of community health workers and peer support, and c) the importance of focusing on infant and early childhood mental health and development. This certificate will be grounded in a strength-based, culturally-relevant lens.
Module 2: Infant and Early Childhood Development and Attachment
Module 2 will provide participants with an overview of developmental milestones from perinatal to age 8 with an emphasis on understanding typical and atypical social-emotional development. Participants will be provided with a foundation in attachment and relational health. We will consider the broader cultural and community contexts within which parents and children live and thrive.
Module 3: Mindfulness Self-Care/Wellness
Wellness, an interactive process, of becoming aware of and practicing healthy choices to create a more successful and balanced lifestyle will be discussed so that CHW's can develop an ongoing practice while working with families with young children who may have mental health and development concerns. It is "choice living". Wellness as a framework that can be used to organize, understand, and balance growth and development. Learning tools and strategies - refreshed, replenish, and grown.
Module 4: Motivational Interviewing and Relationship-Building
Participants will learn motivational interviewing and other verbal/non-verbal communication skills. They will also gain opportunities to practice active listening, building networks amongst families and community partners, trust-building, and working in teams. These skills are necessary for CHW’s to effectively interact with a variety of families and providers within child/family service systems. The cultural implications that can affect the way in which communication between families and CHW's will also be discussed. Discussion around setting boundaries as a CHW.
Module 5: Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Responsiveness in Community Settings
Participants will explore the impact of racism and historical oppression as a public health crisis on children, families, and communities' development and wellbeing. Further exploration will focus on children and families' capacity for resilience and growth. Participants will identify strategies for moving toward racial equity and social justice when working with families and children in the context of infant and early childhood mental health. This module will also include a discussion on cultural competence and cultural humility in community settings.
Module 6: Trauma-informed and Healing-Centered Engagement
This module will discuss public health promotion and social determinants of health and the pair of ACE's within early childhood mental health and the impact they have on families, which includes both adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments. The module will move beyond a discussion of trauma and weave in healing-centered engagement and resiliency.
Module 7: Care Coordination, Case Management, and Systems Navigation
This module will provide socio-cultural engagement strategies for care coordination and system navigation for families with young children. This module will also provide an understanding of how to conduct outreach with individual families and share information about available resources. Using understandings from the previous courses, participants will learn how to bridge cultural, trauma-informed, and racial equity knowledge among individuals, families, communities, and providers in order to facilitate communication involving community members and service providers.
Module 8: Practicum
This hybrid practicum offers participants an opportunity to engage in fieldwork that allows them to apply their learning, theories, and knowledge into practice. Participants will undergo a total of 30 hours of practicum (12 hours of in-class experiential learning, 18 hours of hands-on community engagement, and an additional 5 hours of applied application in self-care to learn strategies to reduce vicarious trauma). Participants will be prepared to work in community settings where they will familiarize themselves with the core competencies of CHWs in the context of early childhood mental health and development. These experiences will be informed by case studies, readings, presentations, and discussions. Participants will also gain an understanding of translating their lived experiences and coursework into community-based settings and will strengthen their critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills. They will keep logs of their activities and complete other written assignments. Participants will be able to apply these hours towards the required hours of work experience for state certification.
The learning outcomes include:
- Identify certificate program requirements and expectations for completion
- Describe the roles of community health workers and peer support
- A foundation in infant and early childhood mental health and development
- Discuss developmental milestones from perinatal to age 8
- Explore the broader cultural and community contexts within which early childhood development occurs
- Identify strategies for self-care and coping with stress (i.e., breathing exercises, journaling, walking, mindful eating, mindful driving, etc..)
- Learn motivational interviewing and other verbal/non-verbal communication skills
- Identify ways to apply key concepts of racial equity and anti-racist practices in their role as peer supporters
- Identify different types of trauma
- Identify and understand strategies to engage and assist families in care coordination
- Apply knowledge and skills gained in the course to actual work situations relevant to early childhood mental health and development within relevant settings