We are pleased to share that the great work of our Therapeutic Visitation Program (TVP) is featured in the September issue of the Zero To Three Journal. The article, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health-Informed Therapeutic Visitation: An Overview and Evaluation, was authored by Samantha Van Hout from Mt. Hope Family Center, and SPCC’s Sarah Fitzgibbons and Alana Russotti. The article describes the infant and early childhood mental health-informed therapeutic visitation program design aspects of TVP comprised of clinical support, systems-level advocacy, and developmentally appropriate guidance to families navigating the child welfare and family court systems. It describes the program development of TVP, including the programmatic theoretical framework, the process of identifying community gaps, garnering system support, and program design. It also includes some very exciting findings from Dr. Van Hout’s research focused on the impact of TVP services. These findings include:
• Families who received TVP service showed significantly improved permanency and Emotional Availability outcomes and a decrease in the number of placement transitions and physical safety concerns for the child.
• Having attempted fewer services prior to TVP uniquely predicted permanency being established post-TVP.
• While specific therapeutic modalities used didn’t make a significant difference in permanency or Emotional Availability outcomes, the most apparent commonality in practice for all clinicians was intensive training in IECMH and receiving ongoing reflective supervision.
• There were no significant differences in treatment outcomes for services provided by interns as compared to seasoned clinicians, in this program where all interns and clinicians received IECMH training and reflective supervision.
This research is one of the first of its kind, highlighting the significant impact services like TVP can have on multiple outcomes and suggest some critical factors of effective program design. We are thrilled to be able to offer TVP’s excellent services to our community, and to serve as a model for therapeutic program designs across the country! Thank you to all of the staff who work to make TVP services so impactful.