California State University, Fresno’s Central California Children’s Institute has received a $450,870, three-year contract from the Central Valley Regional Center Inc. to support the “Foundations of Infant Family Mental Health Training Project.”

The regional center contracts with the California Department of Developmental Service, to provide assessment, evaluation, case management, programs and activities for people with developmental disabilities. The center received Mental Health Services Act funding to conduct this project and serves as a community point of contact for people with developmental disabilities and their families who need access to services and support tailored to them.

The Central California Children’s Institute will plan, develop and implement a multicounty, multidisciplinary training program for professionals working with families with young children.

The program will teach basic infant-family and early childhood mental health curricula to 320 practitioners of six to seven large public agencies in Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Kings and Tulare counties. Training will respond to professional development needs of participating agencies, while moving attendees closer to meeting state-level endorsement.

“Families have enormous difficulty in weaving together the necessary services to meet their children’s needs. Funding training opportunities that foster interagency collaboration is an important step towards simplifying the process and improving access for low-income families” said the center’s executive director, Robert Riddick.

“This grant will help to improve the organization and integration of care for children with special needs by enhancing professionals’ knowledge and skills, while encouraging linkages between the community-based service providers”, said the Children’s Institute Director, Dr. Cassandra Joubert.

During the first year of the project, the institute will establish an Interagency training council with representatives of county Offices of Education, Departments of Behavioral Health and Social Services, Regional Centers and Children’s Services Networks.

After a year of planning, the training program will begin in fall 2012. Twelve training modules will be offered over two years with large lecture-style methods and small, multi-agency reflective practice learning configured to represent varied disciplines and agencies.

Learning pods will be facilitated by members of the First 5 Fresno County Reflective Practice Mentor Group. First 5 Fresno County is also providing grant funds to the Central Valley Regional Center to support the project.

For more information, contact Dr. Cassandra Joubert at 559.228.2150 or

Related links:

Central California Children’s Institute