Strong Foundations for Young Children
Strong Foundations for Young Children provides free coaching, modeling, and support to families with infants and young children who are struggling with challenging behavior and delayed social emotional development.
Families that are eligible for services
- must reside in Hampshire county
- have at least one child, age birth to five (or before kindergarten)
- the eligible child must not be in an early education and care program/childcare
- the eligible child must have challenging behaviors, delayed social emotional skills or other high needs.
Priority will go to families that are not yet connected to community services and have a child with high needs. The program duration is typically 3-6 months (or less, depending on the needs of the family).
What is the cost?
There are no costs to the family and no insurance requirements.
What is included?
The type and quantity of services are tailored to the individual needs of each child and family. We will typically visit the family at home and provide help with setting goals, coaching and modeling strategies for parents or caregivers, and connecting families with needed resources in the community. The family and clinician will work together to determine appropriate goals for the family to support the social emotional development of the child, reducing challenging behaviors.
When you have a child who struggles it is a huge challenge as parents, especially during a pandemic! The Strong Foundations program was an incredible resource during this time to help us meet our child’s needs and assess what we, ourselves, were needing to do in order to be the best parents we could be for them. The strategies were practical, helpful, and just having someone to talk to about everything going on made the load seem lighter.
— an SFYC parent
Sarah Lusardi, LicSW
Sarah Lusardi, LicSW, Clinical Supervisor has provided ECMH support to young children and their families for over 15 years. She previously worked as a Head Start Family Advocate, DCF social worker in California, and then as the Clinical Director in a non-profit that advocated for children in foster care. Sarah specializes in adoption, transracial adoption, trauma-related issues, and generally supporting healthy social-emotional development with young children.
Position: IECMH Clinical Supervisor and Pyramid Model Coach