Mental health is the other half of a child’s whole health

Behavior and emotional difficulties in young children can leave parents and other caregivers feeling lost and frustrated.

Dakota Medical Foundation cast a light on early childhood mental health issues in 2006, beginning its Children’s Mental Health Initiative with the recognition that gaps existed in diagnosing children and getting help to families. From our summit of all Cass and Clay County providers and referral sources, came an advisory council of more than 20 area children’s mental health experts. We pioneered new widespread screening systems and Children’s Consultation Network (CCN) in 2010 to provide helpful, expert resources to parents and caregivers of young children.

CCN therapy provides assessment, education and short-term, therapeutic consultation for children through age 8 with difficult behaviors or emotions, and their caregivers. Services are provided in-office, in-home or in the community, including at school and childcare.

Therapy services help children form better relationships and manage emotions in healthy ways. Early detection and intervention can resolve serious issues with tantrums, separation anxiety, aggression, depression and mood issues that are problematic in early childhood and escalate with age, if not addressed. The mission of the CCN is to prevent or minimize the negative impact of mental health disorders in children, increasing their chances of success at home, school and in the community.

Since 2010, over 1000 children and their caregivers have been served through the CCN and thousands more have received training on important early childhood issues.

Both staff at the CCN are fully licensed mental health professionals specially trained in early childhood mental health and family therapy. They also support the community through many collaborative efforts and trainings. This initiative is managed by our partners Region V Children’s Services Coordinating Committee and SouthEastern North Dakota Community Action Agency.

Contact us at or 701.526.1565.

Shawna Croaker, MSW, LISCW
Children’s Consultation Network Director
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant and Therapist
3233 South University Drive
Fargo, ND 58104