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Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development

Babies can't wait - caregiver holding baby

First three years last a lifetime

The Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development supports the professional development of interdisciplinary infant and early childhood practitioners and conducts research related to infant and early childhood mental health. It consists of three divisions:

  • Research: The center has secured over 20 million dollars of funding from the National Institutes of Health in research funding in the past 10 years. One of the primary aims of our recent research is to conduct randomized clinical trials on home visiting programs to test their effectiveness in diverse populations of caregivers and children.
  • Dissemination: Parent-Child Relationship Programs @ the Barnard Center, which is being renamed Parent-Child Relationship Programs, is now formally part of the Barnard Center and operates as the center’s dissemination arm.
  • Workforce development: As the go-to resource for workforce development and training, the center serves those professionals who work with families every day and provide services to support the care and well-being of young children.

Exciting News!

The Barnard Center for Infant Metal Health and Development is very excited to announce that Dr. Nucha Isarowong has joined our team to lead the Advanced Clinical Training Program, developing Washington’s infant mental health workforce. In this position, he will lead the collaborative design and development of the center’s new post-graduate, advanced clinical training program in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH). Once developed, he will implement and provide daily administrative leadership for the program. In addition to instructing and providing opportunities for reflective supervision and consultation, Dr. Isarowong will join the IECMH community to advocate for investment in and expansion of the IECMH field to promote positive developmental health and wellbeing for young children and families across Washington State.

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Infant mental health courses at the University of Washington

The School of Nursing offers opportunities for learning through several courses in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. These opportunities are open to UW graduate students and non-degree seeking students with non-matriculated (NM) status.

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Infant mental health courses available to community members

The Barnard Center offers a variety of training workshops to those in the community. These courses and workshops are disseminated by the Parent-Child Relationship Programs @ the Barnard Center.

About infant mental health

During the first five years of life, children develop a fundamental sense of themselves and their worlds. As they learn to experience, express and regulate emotions, form close relationships, and explore and learn from the environment, we say they are thriving according to the principles of infant and early childhood mental health.

These principles promote diversity-informed practice across research, clinical work, and policy to provide caregivers and babies the best possible start.

The goals of the Barnard Center are to:

  • Advance knowledge about infant and early childhood mental health and the centrality of early relationships to the healthy development of children;
  • Promote collaborative university-community partnerships for infant and early childhood mental health education and training, advocacy, and clinical research;
  • Offer educational opportunities in infant and early childhood mental health;
  • Promote the health of young children and their families through effective preventive approaches to children’s emotional, social and behavioral problems;
  • Conduct longitudinal and clinical research to increase our understanding of the development of children in the context of adversity and effective community and family intervention efforts on their behalf.

We believe that every child has the right to the early nurturing relationships that are the foundation for lifelong healthy development.