Infant-Parent Program

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center
Infant-Parent Program
1001 Potrero Avenue, Box 0852
Building 5, 6B
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 206-4444

Program Director: Kadija Johnston, LCSW
Program Administrator: Blanca Valle


Man holding an infant

[Photo: Ben Earwicker | Garrison Photography]

The Infant-Parent Program (IPP) is an infant and early childhood mental health program focusing on the relationships between young children and their adult caregivers. Diversity-informed services are provided to a multicultural population of children, families and professionals throughout San Francisco. The IPP staff consists of licensed clinical psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and early childhood specialists. Most clinical staff members are endorsed in the state of California as Infant/Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists and many are endorsed as Mentors (cacenter-ecmh.org).

Clinical services include assessment and intervention offered at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center or, more commonly, in community settings including families’ homes, residential programs, shelters, and transitional housing programs. The program also provides consultation to multidisciplinary professionals serving children birth through age five in early childhood education, primary care, and other service settings.

Modalities of intervention include perinatal psychotherapy for expectant parents who are struggling with relational or mental health challenges that may negatively impact their transition to parenthood; infant-parent psychotherapy for infants or toddlers who are evidencing or at risk for difficulties in social-emotional development; infant-parent groups to enhance parental understanding of infant development; case and programmatic consultation and milieu-based therapeutic shadowing and therapeutic playgroups for toddlers and preschoolers who are exhibiting behavioral concerns in a group care setting.

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers present with a range of emotional and behavioral difficulties including attachment complications, post-traumatic stress responses, failure to thrive and other feeding disorders, regulatory and sensory challenges, depression and anxiety, and disorders of relating and communicating.  A broad range of parental mental health difficulties negatively impacting the parent-child relationship are addressed. In many instances families are supported in navigating multiple systems including child welfare, early care and education, early intervention, primary care, substance abuse treatment, and behavioral health services. The aim of all services is to support child development by enhancing the quality of caregiving relationships.
 

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