The planning body that presented the training looked to strike an Infant Mental Health Advisory Committee and Pilot Project. One of the purposes is to assess the validity of the ASQ and ASQ SE for Niagara. The other goal is to increase awareness of Infant Mental Health amongst the broader Niagara community. Dr. Chaya Kulkarni from Infant Mental Health Promotion at the Hospital for Sick Children, the facilitator of the two day training session, has offered to sit on this committee and support Niagara in the data collection process. From there, the committee selected agencies who participated in the infant mental health training to be part of a pilot project.
Pilot site agencies were selected on their ability to participate in the pilot for a duration of ten months as well as have the capacity to implement the ASQ tool into their programs with several different families. Niagara Region Children’s Services offered to support the pilot through purchasing the kits, so as not to place a burden on any agencies wishing to participate. The data collected in their work with families will be evaluated to measure the effectiveness of the ASQ and ASQ SE following the pilot project completion.
Should the pilot project gather evidence that supports the implementation of the tool in Niagara, the committee will approach Niagara Children’s Planning Council for endorsement and it is hoped from there that the Quality Child Care Niagara Advisory and Niagara Child Care Sector Executive Committees would also consider endorsing the tool. Additionally, opportunities to engage in conversations about incorporating infant mental health information into early childhood education curriculum will be sought with faculty of Niagara College and Brock University.
If your agency is interested in participating on the Infant Mental Health Pilot Project Advisory Committee and/or participate as a pilot site or would like further information, please contact Sandy Toth at firstname.lastname@example.org.