Early Step Forward
Early Step Forward provides mental health services to very young children (ages birth to 5) in Westchester County who are already experiencing the kinds of behavioral challenges that could hinder their readiness to enter school.
Funded by Westchester County, Early Step Forward was created in 2006 as a partnership between Family Services of Westchester, the Child Care Council of Westchester, The Guidance Center of Westchester, the Westchester Children’s Association, the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and Westchester Jewish Community Services.
Recognizing that a child’s positive social and emotional development is critical to school readiness, the Early Step Forward staff works closely with the childcare staff and parents to identify and help children with challenging behaviors improve the quality of their educational experiences.
Early Step Forward counselors coordinate and deliver the social, emotional and family interventions needed to put each child firmly on the path to future school success, including social and emotional screenings, observation, individual and group work, parent groups, staff training and referral to community services.
Diana K. Cohen, LCSW, Director, Early Childhood Mental Health Programs