Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Foster Care
  • Start an Online Fundraiser Today
  • Carl Clark III
  • Autism Success Story

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Future of America Learning Center: Devereux’s Early Childhood Assessment key to success

A New York City child care center is crediting the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Program with its success in helping to grow resilient children.

The nonprofit Future of America Learning Center (FALC), which provides educational programs, child care and youth activities to children of a local healthcare workers union, and to those from the broader community, made a commitment to the implementation of the DECA Program more than 10 years ago.

DECA, which was developed by the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC), is a strength-based assessment and planning system that allows teachers, child care providers and parents to measure a child’s social and emotional skills. The nationally standardized tool is designed to promote resilience in children ages four weeks to six-years-old.

“The DECA offers a very specific look at three protective factors that are fundamental to a child’s social competence, including healthy relationships, self-regulation and initiative,” said FALC Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Lou R. Mallonga, Ph.D. in the center’s 25th anniversary publication. “When I learned how the tool was to be completed by teachers and parents – those adults who know the child best – I really felt confident that this was something that staff would understand, embrace, be empowered by and really change the way they teach and treat children.”

Seeing positive results

At FALC, emphasis is placed on ensuring teachers develop the skills needed to conduct accurate, objective and comprehensive observations to help guide their understanding of a child’s social and emotional skills. Teachers also have learned  to incorporate social and emotional skill building into their everyday activities, routines and interactions with children. When it comes to promoting a child’s resilience – FALC understands that family engagement is key.  

“Since FALC implemented the DECA Program, the results are clear: FALC is helping children become more resilient,” said DCRC Director Susan Damico. “A DECA research study conducted over two years found that four-year-olds served by FALC demonstrated overall improvement in social and emotional health. The children also showed significant improvement in the three individual protective factors assessed by DECA – healthy relationships, self-regulation and initiative.”

Bright future ahead

Over the years, FALC has worked to ensure DECA materials are included in the center’s annual budget; teaching staff are allotted the time to attend professional development; staff meetings and training programs include discussions about DECA; and a process to increase family engagement is developed.

“I am so proud of the environment we have created at FALC and I want others to know that it is possible,” Dr. Mallonga said in the center’s 25th anniversary publication. “Fundamental to our success is the focus on social and emotional skills – not only for the children, but for the staff and parents, as well. This focus guides all aspects of our day, looking intentionally at each and every interaction with children and between staff as an opportunity to be strength-based, to teach social and emotional skills and to collaborate.”

To learn more about DECA, click here to watch a video, or click here for a one-hour recorded webinar on the DECA Program for Infants Toddlers and Preschoolers. To learn more about FALC’s DECA journey, click here. Questions? Contact Susan Damico.

   

Latest News

Julie Donley   Devereux Pennsylvania’s Julie Donley named one of Main Line Today’s ‘Healthcare Heroes’

Main Line Today, a regional magazine focusing on Philadelphia’s Main Line and western suburbs, named Devereux Pennsylvania’s Julie Donley one of its 2019 “Healthcare Heroes.”

Charity of Choice   Become a fundraiser: Make Devereux your charity of choice

With a single click of a button, family members and friends of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health can build support for the nonprofit, and make a significant impact on the youth and adults it serves.

Texas DCRC   Healing from Hurricane Harvey: Devereux awarded contract to provide resilience training

The Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) was awarded a contract with the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies (The Center) to provide resilient leadership training following Hurricane Harvey.

Texas   Devereux Texas’ Kentucky Derby-themed Savor the Hope Gala benefits Devereux programs

Houston’s Hotel Zaza rivaled Churchill Downs as guests in wide-brimmed hats and other derby finery came together for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas’ 9th annual Savor the Hope Gala.

appreciation weeks   Devereux salutes nurses and teachers during appreciation weeks in May

Devereux is honoring the teachers/special education teachers and nurses who selflessly and tirelessly give of themselves to improve the lives of those living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.

The Shops   The Shops at Devereux: Helping adults with disabilities gain real-world job experience

A florist, bike shop, auto shop and more! The Shops at Devereux, part of Devereux Pennsylvania’s vocational training program, provide employment and training opportunities for adults with disabilities. Plan your visit today!


More Stories