Her ex-husband had recently started a life sentence in prison. A fire at her apartment complex, later followed by a flood, destroyed most of the family’s belongings. They were crammed into a two-bedroom apartment awaiting their next move. And her two-year-old son Malik was having signficant speech problems.
“I was so stressed and unorganized. I didn’t know what my next move was going to be,” she said.
The family was referred to the Early Childhood Mental Health Program (ECMHP) for wraparound mental health services, a team-based strategy to support families with complex needs. Wrap teams made up of service providers, a family advocate, and the parents’ friends, ministers, or family members help the family to set and meet goals. The idea is to reduce stress so parents can focus on developing healthy relationships with their children – the key to young children’s optimal social and emotional development.