Pathways of Care: targeting the early childhood sector for early intervention

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While many people with a mental illness care for young children, there is a paucity of resources for these families and the professionals working with them. The purpose of this paper is to describe a new online resource, Pathways of Care, specifically designed for parents with a mental illness, early childhood educators, and mental health workers, and report on a pilot evaluation of the resource. Using a mixed method design, the effectiveness of the online resource in effecting worker confidence, knowledge and family-focused practice change will be examined. Pathways of Care aims to promote collaborative practice between agencies, identify relevant agencies and support workers in talking to parents about mental illness in families. Fifteen workers completed the Family Focus Mental Health Practice Questionnaire pre- and post-viewing the resource, to measure confidence and practice change; semi-structured interviews were then conducted with eight of these same workers to further explore the utility of the resource. Findings tentatively indicate that the resource was effective in increasing worker knowledge and confidence. This study highlights the importance of the development and provision of resources, such as the Pathways of Care, to promote collaboration between service providers in the early childhood and mental health sectors working with families with young children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139 - 152
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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