Conference to Highlight Our Smallest, Most Vulnerable Children

A major focus of this year’s CMHACY Conference, May 15 – 17 at Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterey coast, will be services youngest and most vulnerable population of children, birth to 5. This is a conference that administrators, service providers and parents/caregivers can’t miss.

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Keynote Speaker: Kiti Freier Randall, Ph.D.

Dr. Kiti Freier Randall is a Pediatric Neurodevelopment Psychologist with extensive experience, spanning over 26 years, with infant, child, and adolescent populations. She has specialized expertise in the area of infant and toddler high risk populations, developmental disability, trauma, and pre and postnatal substance exposure.   Dr Kiti is Director of Psychological Services for the Department of Pediatrics at Loma Linda University Health Care and Medical Director for the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence. She is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health at Loma Linda University. She works as a consultant expert on high risk 0-5 year olds, for Children’s Network of San Bernardino County’ California.


Seven Birth to Five Workshops

5% of Us Have Fetal Alcohol Damage – Do You Recognize Us?

Kathryn Page, President, FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) NorCal

An overview of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and how it makes life so complicated. Although it affects 5% of us, this brain damage goes unrecognized and mistreated, causing upset and failure for agencies, and tragedy for individuals. Learn to recognize the signs and patterns of FASD and how to use a neurobehavioral approach to tailor interventions for maximum success with this very underserved population.


Implementing a Successful 0-5 Program: Engaging the ‘village’

Kiti Randall, Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist-Consultant; Desert/Mountain Children’s Center

Jenae Holtz, CEO – California Association of Health and Education Linked Professions


How to set up and sustain an effective birth-to-5 program, including how to blend funding from various sources and multiple types of effective treatments for our youngest population. A continuum of care will be presented and understanding will be gained of the flow of services for children and families.


Interactive Dialogue – The Journey Towards a Community-wide Continuum of IECMH Services Model

Jennifer Wheeler, Program Manager, First 5 San Diego

Pradeep Gidwani, Medical Director, Healthy Development Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, California


The presenters, with 12 years of experience of bringing together diverse stakeholders to create an Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Services model in the context of delivering services in a large county, will explore successes, challenges and best practices in implementation with participants using an interactive dialogue process.


Transdisciplinary Assessment Program for 3 to 6 year-olds and their Caregivers.

Jane Johnson, Exec Director, Child Haven Inc.

Danielle Canales, CARE Clinic Program Coordinator

Tonya Nowakowski, Assistant Director, Solano County Health and Social Services

Megan Richards, Deputy Director, First 5 Solano

Dorothy Rothenbaum, Assistant Director, Solano County SELPA.

The story of our journey to create a non-educationally-based 10 week evaluation model for preschool aged children with intensive mental health needs. Pre and post assessment data and parent interviews will be shared from 6 cohorts. The outcomes show decreased behaviors in home, community, and school programs, with increased parenting satisfaction.


First 5 Innovations in Early Childhood Services for Children with Social Emotional Vulnerabilities

Deb Turner, Administrator, Help Me Grow, First 5 Alameda

Wanda Davis, Early Intervention Program Officer, First 5 Contra Costa

Jennifer Travis, Program Coordinator, Help Me Grow Yolo

Heather Davidson, Program Manager, Executive Director, First 5 Ventura

First 5 County Commissions will share their success with early identification and intervention innovations with implementation of systems such as Help Me Grow that target our most at-risk populations. Panelists will share how early intervention and upstream investment help mitigate the cycle of future generations living with untreated behavioral health concerns.


What Can We Do? Interventions to Help Children with Early Developmental Risks of Prenatal Substance Exposure, Neglect, and Trauma

Jeff Rowe, Supervising Psychiatrist, Behavioral Health Services, Juvenile Forensic Services, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

By age 5 we expect children to have the neurological, psychological, and social ability to manage themselves at all-day Kindergarten, where they are expected to learn, follow directions, share, and play with others. The functions they need might best be grouped into 3 main categories: Self-Regulation, Mastery, and Wellbeing. The ability to develop these can be disrupted by prenatal exposure to substances, neglectful child rearing, exposure to traumatic experiences, and others. I will describe the problems that early developmental risks cause and some interventions that can help support the child in their development and drive for independence.


Using Data for Action: Kidsdata

Lori Turk-Bicakci, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Data and Research, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health is a practical resource that provides data on 56 topics to facilitate action in California children’s health and well-being. Explore data findings on children’s mental and emotional health, follow a demonstration on how to use, and engage in a discussion about strategies that use data to drive action. “No stories without numbers, no numbers without stories.