From day care centers to all Boone County schools, we offer outreach programs in our local community.

THE MU BRIDGE PROGRAM: SCHOOL-BASED PSYCHIATRY

The MU Bridge program provides psychiatric appointments in Boone County Schools for school-age children who need prompt evaluation and treatment. The mission is to be a state leader in providing school-based psychiatric treatment.

Children in the program will receive an initial psychiatric evaluation with a child psychiatrist and two to three follow-up appointments at no cost to families. The program’s nurses will communicate with parents or guardians and help to coordinate the children’s care. Parent(s) or guardian(s) should accompany their child, or be available by phone, for all Bridge appointments.

After the initial evaluation, if it is determined that a child does not need medication, he or she will be referred to other in-school or outpatient behavioral health programs.

Parents, teachers and providers can contact the school counselors or the Bridge staff directly if they believe a child may benefit from the Bridge Program. Please download the brochure to view the Bridge team contact information.The Bridge psychiatrists and nurses work as team members with school counselors, nurses and other school staff for the benefit of every child in the program.

The MU Bridge Program makes psychiatric treatment more accessible and provides timely appointments. It brings psychiatry into schools to help reduce crises. Children with emotional/behavioral problems will be able to get back on track faster, so that they can learn, socialize and feel better.

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS

We offer wellness programs in our local community. Through these programs, funded by the Boone County Children’s Services Board, we work with local child care providers and parents to help young children: 

  • Become ready for school
  • Overcome traumatic events 
  • Receive specialized services when needed
  • Reduce problem behaviors

Early childhood-positive behavior supports (EC-PBS)

Early Childhood Positive Behavior Support (EC-PBS) combines training and weekly coaching to improve the quality of early childhood program environments in Boone County. This also increases child care providers’ abilities for building relationships with children 12 and under and families, which helps to:

  • Promote school readiness
  • Promote social-emotional development
  • Reduce problem behaviors 

EC-PBS focuses on prevention and instruction for all students in the program, not just those with behavior problems. It also establishes strategies and support for early child care providers, children and families in the development of age-appropriate social skills. EC-PBS provides parenting classes on effective parenting strategies, such as: 

  • The importance of promoting social-emotional health
  • Building positive relationships with their children 
  • Bridging the gap between home and school environments

Our program encourages child care providers to work from a team perspective and demonstrates how to use data to support making decisions. EC-PBS coaches work directly with classroom teachers and administrators weekly, and the developmental coach works directly with classroom teachers and administrators monthly.

For more information, please contact Vicki Davolt.

System offering actions for resilience (SOAR) in early childhood

The SOAR program focuses on children up to age six. This initiative includes: 

  • Educating the community on the importance of social and emotional well-being in young children
  • Performing developmental screenings
  • Providing treatment of child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) to young children exposed to trauma
  • Training on the use of and evidence-based developmental screening (ASQ-3 and ASQ-SE2)

The mission of SOAR is to build awareness and programs to address the development and wellness of young children and their families across the service delivery continuum from prevention to treatment.

For more information, please contact Wendy Ell.

Designed to help young children and families

SOAR aims to improve coordination of the early childhood serving system and enhance practices, programs and services, for young children and their families. 

Here are the main functions of SOAR:

  • An important piece of SOAR involves the screening and identification of children at risk for developmental and behavioral disorders. 
  • SOAR seeks to bridge gaps in service to children who potentially have higher rates of physical, developmental and social-emotional needs. 
  • This program seeks to ensure the needs of these young children are being met through best practice models of standardized screening, evidence-based identification and linkage to appropriate services.

Treatment for young children affected by trauma

SOAR offers a treatment service for the youngest of children and their parents who have experienced trauma. Child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) is designed for children up to age five and their parents who have experienced one or more traumatic events. Examples include:

  • A parent suffering from depression or anxiety
  • A sudden death
  • A traumatic medical procedure
  • Divorce
  • Experiencing abuse or witnessing domestic violence

CPP is therapy that includes intensive weekly treatment sessions with the parent and child for 32 to 52 weeks (depending on the severity of the trauma). Research has demonstrated that outcomes for families who participate in this treatment include: 

  • Decreased depression and anxiety for parents
  • Children return to their normal developmental path

For more information, please contact Sharai Bradshaw, LMFT.

If you would like more information about any of these programs, please contact the SOAR office at 573-884-6454.

Boone County Early Childhood Coalition (BCECC)

The BCECC is a coalition of educators and practitioners in Boone County who value and recognize the importance of supporting the social emotional wellness of children, with the emphasis of the work being in early childhood. The coalition is a space for collaboration between early childhood agencies and provides specific programming. Those programs include Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and the SWYC Screening Hub.

Triple P

Positive Parenting Program is one of the world's most effective parenting programs. With more than 30 years of ongoing research, Triple P is one of the few evidence-based parenting programs. 

  • Supports parents in raising confident, healthy children.
  • Gives parents the practical skills they need to build strong family relationships, manage misbehavior and prevent problems from happening in the first place.
  • Doesn’t tell people how to parent, but rather it gives them simple and practical strategies they can adapt to suit their own values, beliefs and needs.
  • Recognizes that one size doesn't fit all. It's a system that offers increasing levels of support to meet parents' different needs.

As a part of the Triple P program, seminars on positive parenting will be done in the community free of charge. One-on-one parenting sessions for managing challenging behaviors are available at no cost. All parenting resources from Triple P are free for residents of Boone County.

For more information, please contact Catherine Miller, M.Ed.

SWYC Screening Hub

Organizations involved in the program will work to increase social-emotional screening in Boone County through training on the Survey of Well-being of Young Children and access to a screening hub and referral matrix. The SWYC is a free, first-level screening tool for children 5 and under. The caregiver fills out the survey, which takes about 10 minutes. It assesses children's well-being within developmental milestones, social-emotional health, autism spectrum disorder and family context. Access to the screening hub will work to:

  • Increase regular social-emotional screening for children 5 and under.
  • Reduce duplication and increase information storage.
  • Increase provider access, knowledge and confidence with making appropriate referrals.

For more information, please contact Hilary Mueller, MSW.