Research and evaluation are essential for continuing to expand the reach and impact of IECMHC. By gathering, analyzing, and reporting data, programs can learn about what they have been doing well, as well as what can be improved or made more efficient. Further, evaluations are essential for educating others – including policymakers, funders, and families – about the value of IECMHC.
The Center of Excellence has developed step-by-step guidance to help programs design and build upon their IECMHC program evaluations. Because a good program evaluation depends upon a well-defined program that is implemented with fidelity, programs should access resources available through the Center of Excellence for IECMHC to: ensure that they are familiar with the defining characteristics of IECMHC; develop manuals describing their specific programs; and track the fidelity with which their program is implemented.
The Center of Excellence provides individualized Technical Assistance (TA) for IECMHC programs at any stage of development. If you are a program manager and would like to speak with a member of our team about designing or tailoring your approach to program evaluation, please submit a request via our online portal.
Would you like your IECMHC research findings to be shared on the Center of Excellence website? Do you have new ideas, requests, or corrections to the content provided above? We would love to hear from you! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share reports, articles, webinar ideas, questions, etc.
To organize concepts for both program development and evaluation purposes, theories of change and logic models serve as “roadmaps” that graphically depict the connections between the community context, the actions to be undertaken, and the desired outcomes. Please see the documents below for examples of theories of change and logic models as well as guidance for creating your own.
The evidence base for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation has grown significantly in recent decades. Learning about evaluations of other IECMHC programs helps teams to develop their own questions that build upon the foundational evidence.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Early Childhood (DEC) has been jointly committed to funding IECMHC work since 2002. This was initiated through a pilot project that spanned three jurisdictions in the state. Since 2009, following positive outcomes form the pilot project, MSDE now utilizes Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) dollars to fund 11 programs that cover all 24 Maryland jurisdictions regionally. Through ongoing partnership with the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation’s Parent, Infant, Early Childhood (PIEC) team, the MSDE-funded IECMHC workforce has grown to include a state-wide data management system, regular production of reports and legislative briefs, as well as ongoing training, professional development and opportunities for reflective supervision.
In 2016, Maryland was selected as one of 14 pilot sites nationwide to receive expert technical assistance through the SAMHSA-funded Center of Excellence (CoE) for IECMHC. This work resulted in the development and publication of new state standards published in 2020. The new standards utilize a multi- disciplinary approach to consultation for the state’s workforce, ensuring at least one clinically licensed consultant per program. This approach was an effort to align the current workforce (which was largely individuals with experience and credentials in the education fields) with the national model, which emphasizes advanced mental health degrees. During this time we also engaged in efforts to support the whole workforce through training in mental health principles and reflective practice.
MSDE’s investment in ongoing evaluation of IECMHC efforts includes a statewide database of IECMHC activities called the Outcomes Monitoring System (OMS). The PIEC team works with all Maryland IECMHC programs to improve their data collection and assess the impact of services. This level of data reporting supported the Maryland state legislature to introduce and pass a bill that increased state funding for these services from 1.4 million annually to 3.0 million annually to initiate in 2023.
In 2021, ongoing consultation with the Indigo Cultural Center was initiated to support the integration of equity and anti-racism approaches throughout our model. This is still ongoing. In 2022, MSDE dedicated ARPA funds to increase service capacity as well as funding for infrastructure to support universal systems such as onboarding, training and coaching, and reflective supervision.