EC – Early Childhood Program
Established in 1996, the Early Childhood Program, formally Early Intervention Foster Care (EIFC), has served 100’s of kids between the ages of 2-1/2 to 6 years of age. In 2019, the program name was changed to the Early Childhood (EC) Program to better reflect the services provided to foster, biological, and adoptive families. Children, ages 1 to 6 years old, are typically in the program for 6-18 months. Children who qualify for services from EC Cares and are currently in foster care are considered eligible, but EC Cares eligibility is not required for Early Childhood treatment.
The Early Childhood Program consists of the following treatment components:
Foster Parent Support Group (highly recommend participation): Weekly 2 hour foster parent meeting which focuses on creating interventions and behavioral systems that are developmentally appropriate for the children in our program and will promote positive behavior in the home. Often these services are provided in the foster home.
Therapeutic Playgroup: Weekly 2 hour group that focuses on the development of school readiness skills (e.g. social competence, behavior and emotion regulation and early literacy skills). The children in playgroup receive a consistent rate of positive feedback and encouragement from members of the clinical team to help imbed prosocial skills and reduce the amount of negative behavior. Should negative behavior occur, the program manager is available at all times as the “principal” to provide a consequence (time out, removal from playgroup).
Skills Training and/or Individual Therapy: Skills training occurs on a weekly basis, usually 1 to 2 hours a week. Skills training is provided by highly trained members of our clinical team and tends to focus on the presenting issues of the child (defiance, anxiety, delayed social skills). We help children participate in community activities while focusing on the development of prosocial and interpersonal relationship skills, including appropriateness in the community, compliance and cooperation, development of age appropriate coping strategies and social skills. We use high rates of positive reinforcement to assist in the acquisition of new skills development.
Family Therapy: Family therapy services are provided to the child’s biological parents or identified aftercare resource. We will work with the family to help build positive parenting skills, using an evidenced base curriculum (PMTO), and help them set up positive and therapeutic visits with their children while they are in foster care, we will also work with the Bio-family to help prepare them for their child’s return.
Case Management and Support: We are on call 24/7 to our foster families in an effort to avert crisis and maintain placement stabilization. Case management consists of coordination with DHS, EC Cares and other community partners. We also provide school support for our children as needed.