Montgomery, Ala. – Alabama is honored to be part of the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center’s continuation of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Financing Policy Project (IECMH-FPP) Learning Collaborative, with an award in the form of specific support for state to state collaboration on policy and financing of infant and early childhood mental health.
ZERO TO THREE launched the IECMH-FPP in 2016 with support from the Irving Harris Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alliance for Early Success, and University of Minnesota. The purpose is to support states’ advancement of IECMH assessment, diagnosis, and treatment policies that will contribute to the healthy development of young children. In 2018, the state of Alabama was selected along with eight states and the District of Columbia to participate in the ZERO TO THREE IECMH-FPP 2nd Cohort, making a total of 19 participating states plus D.C.
“Alabama being chosen in 2018 to participate in the ZERO TO THREE Financing Policy Project is a reason for the recent successes in building the much-needed infant and early childhood mental health services in Alabama. Because of this project we’ve made lasting relationships with other state IECMH leaders and the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center staff and strengthened our collaborative partnerships within Alabama as well. We are excited that ZERO TO THREE has offered us this opportunity to continue through this Collaborative Learning Project and have gladly recommitted to the work,” said Jane Duer, Director, Infant and Early Childhood Special Programs, Alabama Department of Mental Health.
Staff at the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Alabama Partnership for Children and Alabama Medicaid engaged in comprehensive training and technical assistance, creating an action plan for success. The state partners have drafted and edited policies that benefit Alabama families and young children, creating a more comprehensive and accessible system for infant and early childhood mental health care.
Because of the success of sharing information and strategies to finance assessment, diagnosis and treatment within Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health programs, ZERO TO THREE will again offer assistance for partnership with states included in the project, with Alabama as part of this important alliance.
Duer continued, “Over the last five years, Alabama’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health System of Care has gone from being non-existent to seeing very successful growth. Many factors contributed to this, beginning with funding and support from Project LAUNCH, a 5-year SAMHSA grant awarded to ADMH in 2014. Thanks to ADMH Commissioner Beshear and her administrative staff’s support to sustain and expand the IECMH services established through Project LAUNCH, and to the Alabama Legislature and Governor Kay Ivey for seeing value in these services, we have state funding for FY20 to support the expansion of Alabama’s IECMH System of Care.”
Alabama also thanks the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center. The support and access to collaboration with other states will facilitate our ongoing capacity of building Alabama’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health system of care.