Implementation, Sustainability and Accessibility of Early Childhood Evidence-Based Behavioral Health Practices

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The goal of this work is to support parents and other caregivers of young children with behavioral challenges through the implementation and sustainability of early childhood evidence-based practices in community settings. We collaborate with individuals working with parents or professionals across all child-serving systems to develop strategies that support the implementation, sustainability and accessibility of evidence-based behavioral health practices.

Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Consultation (PBHC) Project

The Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Consultation Services Project is a collaboration of Iowa State U-TuRN and Central Iowa Psychological Services to increase access to behavioral health supports for children and families across Iowa. This implementation and evaluation project has received funding from the Telligen Community Initiative.


The Psychiatric Behavioral Health Consultation Services Project (PBHC) is available to assist any primary care provider (PCP) that sees children or adolescents including pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, behavioral health clinicians. As of April 15th, 2021 the PBHC is now available to primary care providers in ALL Iowa Counties and school staff in participating school systems.  PBHC encourages any PCP or school system not yet enrolled to call the PBHC team at 515-349-1947 or enroll online using the form below. PBHC is a billable psychiatric and behavioral consultation and is free to all PCPs.

The goal of PBHC is to make child psychiatry and behavioral health services increasingly accessible to PCPs throughout Iowa. PBHC provides PCPs with timely access to child psychiatry and behavioral health consultation and, when indicated, transitional services into ongoing behavioral health care through in-person, community-based, and telehealth referrals.


PBHC is available to all children and families, regardless of insurance status, as long as the point of entry is through their PCP. PBHC operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and is not meant to replace necessary emergency services.

Through PBHC, a team of child psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, and care coordinators provide assistance to PCPs in accessing psychiatric services. PBHC will be rolled out by regions of the state in order to facilitate an ongoing relationship between the PBHC team, the PCP, and existing community services.


The PBHC team will work to build relationships with PCPs across each region to provide psychiatric and behavioral health telephone consultation, prescheduled or with a goal of within 30 minutes. The consultation will result in one of the following outcomes, depending upon the needs of the child and family:

  • An answer to the PCP’s question;
  • Referral to the team care coordinator to assist the family in accessing routine, local behavioral health services, with the understanding that there may be a 4-6 week wait;
  • Referral to the team social worker to provide transitional telephonic support to the child and family ( up to 4 visits) while the family waits for routine, local behavioral health services; or
  • Referral to a team child psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner for an acute psychopharmacologic or diagnostic consultation.

For additional information, please contact Abby Grove, Operations and Project Relationship Manager, Central Iowa Psychological Services at 515.349.1947 or via email.

Family Interaction Training (FIT) Webinar Series: November 2, 9, 16th, 2021

For additional information contact

FIT is a behavioral training program that consists of lessons, informed by existing evidence regarding critical elements of effective parent training programs, focuses on strengthening the parent-child relationship, structuring the environment to prevent misbehavior, & using effective strategies for addressing misbehavior. FIT materials were developed for professionals who work with young children but who are not mental health experts, to help parents learn evidence-based parenting strategies to prevent or reduce challenging behaviors. This three-part series was developed for people from a wide range of disciplines to teach parents of young children to use many of the parenting strategies commonly used in proven programs.

Webinar 1 Slides: Here

Webinar 2 Slides: Here

Emotional Reactivity Figure Slide: Here

Webinar 3 Slides: Here

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based behavior parent training treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT.

Format: PCIT is based on many of the same theoretical underpinnings as other parent training models. However, the treatment format differs from many other behavior parent training programs that take more of a didactic approach to working with families. Specifically, parents are initially taught relationship enhancement or discipline skills that they are actually going to be practicing in session and at home with their child.  In subsequent sessions, most of the session time is spent coaching caregivers in the application of specific therapy skills. Therapists typically coach from an observation room with a one-way mirror into the playroom, using a “bug-in-the-ear” system for communicating to the parents as they play with their child. 

Efficacy of PCIT

PCIT outcome research has demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements in the conduct-disordered behavior of preschool age children: after treatment, children’s behavior is within the normal range. Studies have documented the superiority of PCIT to wait list controls and to parent group didactic training. In addition to significant changes on parent ratings and observational measures of children’s behavior problems, outcome studies have demonstrated important changes in the interactional style of the fathers and mothers in play situations with their children. 

Based on well-controlled randomized controlled trials, PCIT has been categorized as a probably efficacious treatment for 3- to 6-year-olds with disruptive behavior (Eyberg, Nelson, & Boggs, 2008). 

Further, PCIT has been rated as Promising by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development as a treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral problems. The Blueprints website for PCIT lists additional information about PCIT including a Fact Sheet, Program Costs, Funding Strategies, and a Detailed Evaluation Abstract. 

In terms of the use of PCIT for a child welfare population, there is a nice review of the literature from Child Welfare Information Gateway.