Child First, designed by Darcy Lowell, MD, helps reduce the impact toxic stress can have on a child’s development by strengthening parent-child relationships and addressing families’ basic needs (shelter, food, medical care, employment, etc.).
Stressful experiences in early childhood, including exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, unstable or unsafe housing, or parental mental health problems or substance abuse have significant negative effects on children’s brain development. These impacts are particularly great in children who are more vulnerable due to medical complications, developmental delays, or temperamental differences.
Families who receive services through Child First – including intensive in-home, attachment-based parent-child psychotherapy, trauma treatment and comprehensive case management – are able to build their resiliency to cope with the stresses in their lives.
The program is open to families with children from prenatal to age 6 who reside in Hartford, Bloomfield or Windsor.
Clients can be referred to the program (by a service provider, such as a school or child care, Connecticut’s Birth to Three program or the Department of Children and Families) or can access services directly by contacting:
Maryellen Sciallo, Clinical Manager
860-236-4511 x3722 ,
Services are available in Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor, and are most often provided in the family’s home. At times, services may also be provided at a child’s school or day care setting, or sessions may take place at another location decided upon by the program and family (e.g., library, another agency).
This program is funded by Connecticut Departments of Children and Families and Public Health through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program and by the Connecticut Judicial Branch through the VOCA Assistance Grant.