The Nassau County Babies Can’t Wait Program is a collaboration of the Adelphi University Institute for Parenting and the Nassau County Child Welfare System (Family Court and Department of Social Services).
The primary goal is to help parents to repair or establish a more secure parent-child relationship and address the complicated mental health needs of very young children in Foster Care and their parents. We aim for expedited, successful and lasting permanency for young children (0-5 year olds).
About the Program
Young children who come to the attention of the court often have complicated histories which include traumatic experiences such as poverty, neglect, physical/sexual abuse, parental substance abuse, parental mental illness, witnessing domestic violence and prolonged or frequent separations from their parents. These children often have disrupted attachment relationships to their parent or primary caregiver which may result in significant developmental delays, cognitive and socio-emotional difficulties, which then further fuels abuse and neglect. The Institute for Parenting has developed a model for infant mental health assessment and therapeutic supervised visitation that guides service and treatment plans and better meets the needs of parents and their 0-5 year olds who have been placed in foster care in the Child Welfare System.
This program includes intensive Infant Mental Health (IMH) Assessment and Treatment. The IMH assessment evaluates the relationship of the parent and their young child as well as their developmental needs and provides DSS and the court with the information and/or recommendations concerning the potential for reunification and whether IMH Services and other services may achieve the goal. Our approach to Therapeutic Supervised Visitation uses the attachment based and psycho-dynamically informed treatment approach of Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) for caregivers and their 0-5 year olds. The intervention provides corrective relational experiences for a parent and their very young child. It consists of dyadic sessions with an experienced clinician as well as weekly individual sessions for each parent that includes video feedback. All sessions are video-taped. The joint parent-child sessions meet two times a week for a one hour therapeutic supervised visitation and an additional hour of traditional supervised visitation. Some of the key components of the treatment involve: developmental and parent guidance, as well as individual therapy and video guidance to provide parents with the opportunity to review and reflect upon their responses to their children and their own attachment histories.
The clinician also assists parents in learning to navigate the problems that may interfere with their everyday living and influence their parenting through case management, crisis intervention, and assistance building support systems.
This program is designed for all families with young children from birth through five years of age who are in foster care in Nassau County.