Our Shared Vision to Transform Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in King County

Relationships are at the heart of human development and are necessary for thriving. Research explains that the first three years of an infant’s life are pivotal to their social and emotional development; our communities know that these early relationships are what provide the social and emotional foundations children need to learn, succeed, and thrive throughout their lives.

In 2017, Best Starts for Kids and key partners conducted a multi-year landscape analysis to learn about the strengths, opportunities, and challenges with Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) services across King County. Our findings helped us understand the current scope of services available for supporting the mental health of infants, toddlers, children up to age five and their families, the effectiveness of and gaps in current services, and how current programs advance equity for families and children.

To put our findings and analysis into action, we then partnered with families, providers, and community partners to develop a community-led strategic plan that reflects the needs, vision, and values of our community members. 

We envision a King County that values the efforts of families to provide caring environments for children. Toward this goal, King County is increasing its commitment to prioritizing the social and emotional health of all infants, toddlers, and young children (prenatal to age 5) and their families.

We are deeply thankful to all the families, service providers, and community partners who support our young children and communities every day and who partnered with us to build this plan. We are grateful to work in partnership to improve social and emotional outcomes for children and families and to support children across King County as they reach adulthood happy, healthy, safe, and thriving.

Read the full report here.

The Community Summary is available in the following languages:

To learn more, please contact Soledad Carrillo, Social-Emotional Implementation Lead at scarrillo@kingcounty.gov

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