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The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

Together For Kids (TFK)

Results

Together For Kids (TFK) received $641,143 of state funding for mental health consultation services in Worcester County for FY '08 and is working out plans for service delivery.  With the current level of state funding, TFK anticipates providing services to more than 3,500 children and several hundred teachers during this fiscal year.  TFK has demonstrated that with an average of 24 hours of direct service, children's behavior and development skills have improved; preschool expulsions have been reduced to near zero; and parents are reporting greater satisfaction with their preschools.

Evaluation Report
Together For Kids (TFK)$1,779,018
 
Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 5 (2007)$218,680
Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 4 (2006)$344,218
Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 3 (2005)$330,524
Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 2 (2004)$299,484
Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 1 (2003)$275,000
Together For Kids - Pilot Grant (2002)$238,745
Together For Kids - Planning Grant (2001)$72,367
 
Year:2007Amount: $218,680
Title:Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 5
Recipient:Community HealthLink
As Together For Kids (TFK) enters its final year of funding from the Foundation, TFK is focusing on advocacy to ensure continued state support and on research to further document the successful outcomes of the TFK model.  This year TFK will conduct a second kindergarten follow-up study that will include a control group of children who did not receive services, and they will evaluate the differences between using embedded and non-embedded clinicians to provide these services.

Project Director: 
Project Manager: 
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink
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Year:2006Amount: $344,218
Title:Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 4
Recipient:Community HealthLink
During its fourth year of implementation, the Together For Kids Coalition (TFK) is continuing to improve the capacity of childcare staff, childcare agencies and families to effectively meet the emotional and mental health needs of preschool children, focusing on those exhibiting challenging behaviors in childcare.  In addition, this year will begin research on the transition of some of these children to kindergarten.  Fifteen children/families have been enrolled in a study to assess the impact of early childhood interventions on the children as they move into kindergarten.  A three-year, $400,000 grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health will support research into the curriculum and teacher and parent education.  Advocacy efforts will include working with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and other organizations to ensure that TFK has input to the decisions being made to standardize the evaluation and outcomes measures that will be used statewide to monitor mental health consultations.  TFK will also engage in a strategic planning process to begin to consider an appropriate structure for TFK going forward as the Foundation’s funding decreases and other funding sources are identified.

Project Director:
Project Manager:  
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink 
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Year:2005Amount: $330,524
Title:Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 3
Recipient:Community HealthLink
During its third year of implementation, the Together For Kids Coalition (TFK) will continue to improve the capacity of childcare staff, childcare agencies and families to effectively meet the emotional and mental health needs of preschool children, particularly those exhibiting challenging behaviors in childcare.  Changes this year will focus on: expanded evaluation with full parental consent for follow-up research into K-1 outcomes; streamlined data collection and reporting to meet third party payer needs; expanded efforts devoted to legislative strategies and insurance reimbursement strategies for sustainability; improved parent communication and expanded parent engagement activities at childcare centers; implementation and expansion of the graduate seminar on early childhood mental health consultation for clinicians; and added professional support and partnership with statewide organizations to advance the TFK public policy agenda.

Project Director: 
Project Manager:  
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink
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Year:2004Amount: $299,484
Title:Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 2
Recipient:Community HealthLink
The Together For Kids Coalition (TFK) will continue their project implementation to improve the capacity of childcare staff, childcare agencies and families to effectively meet the emotional and mental health needs of preschool children, particularly those exhibiting challenging behaviors in childcare. Proposed Year 2 activities will include: emphasis on sustainability strategies; replace floating teachers with substitute teachers and an over-time fund; increase Child Development Advisors' consultation time at newer child care intervention sites and decrease time at established sites; create a graduate seminar on early childhood mental health consultation for clinicians; and access to lobbyist support as needed to advance public policy agenda. Long-term follow-up and evaluation with targeted families; referrals to mental health services for children with severe emotional disorders; and strategies to improve parenting-skill development and parents' involvement in early care and learning will continue.

Partners include: Becker College; ChildCare Connection; Edward Street Child Services; Great Brook Valley Health Center; Jewish Family Services; OCCS; Pernet Family Services; Rainbow Child Development Center; Quinsigamond Community College; University of Massachusetts Medical Center Early Intervention; United Way of Central Massachusetts; Webster Square Daycare Center; WAAEYC; Worcester Community Action Council; Worcester Communities of Care; Worcester Comprehensive ChildCare Services; Worcester Police Department; Worcester Public Schools; YMCA; Youth Opportunies Upheld, Inc. (Y.O.U., Inc.); YWCA and others.

Project Director:
Project Manager:  
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink
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Year:2003Amount: $275,000
Title:Together For Kids - Project Implementation Grant, Year 1
Recipient:Community HealthLink

Together for Kids (TFK) Coalition will implement a program, developed with the support of earlier Planning and Pilot Grants from the Foundation, to improve children’s mental health by increasing the capacity of child care centers and families to effectively meet the social and emotional developmental needs of children, provide supportive environments for at-risk children, and strengthen the partnership between parents and child care staff. Together for Kids will provide on-site mental health consultation to child care centers; behavior management coaching and training of teaching staff; family outreach and parent involvement, and a strong program, research and evaluation component. Together for Kids will advocate for public policy and regulatory changes that increase affordable, accessible, quality child care and family mental health services, and expand the availability of mental health consultation in early care and learning settings.

Partners include: Becker College, Child Care Connection, Edward Street Child Services, Great Brook Valley Health Center, Jewish Family Services, Pernet Family Health Service, Quinsigamond Community College, Rainbow Child Development Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School Early Intervention, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Webster Square Daycare Center, WAAEYC, Worcester Community Action Council, Worcester Communities of Care, Worcester Comprehensive Childcare Services, Worcester Police Department, Worcester Public Schools, YMCA, Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc.(Y.O.U., Inc.), YWCA, and others.

Funding partners include: United Way of Central Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services.

Project Director:
Project Manager: 
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink

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Year:2002Amount: $238,745
Title:Together For Kids - Pilot Grant
Recipient:Community HealthLink
Together for Kids Coalition (TFK) will implement a pilot initiative, resulting from an earlier planning grant, to improve children’s mental health by increasing the capacity of child care centers to provide supportive environments for at-risk children and establish stronger links with parents.  This pilot program includes an expanded model of on-site consultation with a mental health clinician; behavior management coaching and training of teaching staff and family outreach and improved data collection.  Along with the work of the Together for Kids Coalition, this initiative aims to generate systemic changes in the delivery of childcare services for children and their families through the improved coordination of resources, training and advocacy efforts.

Project Director:
Project Manager: 
Ms. Caroloyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community HealthLink
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Year:2001Amount: $72,367
Title:Together For Kids - Planning Grant
Recipient:United Way of Central Massachusetts
United Way of Central Massachusetts will coordinate a planning process, involving a coalition of 20-plus community agencies, to create a model linking children in childcare centers with mental health services.

Project Director:  Ms. Cathy Fellenz
Fiscal Agent: United Way of Central Massachusetts
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