Child First

Launched 2023


Child First’s proven model is nationally recognized for helping heal and protect young children and families from the effects of chronic stress and trauma. Services are conducted in the home by a clinical team including a Mental Health Clinician and a Care Coordinator. They foster strong, nurturing relationships between child and caregiver and connect families with much-needed services.

The pandemic exacerbated the challenges families face. 27% of parents and 14% of children experienced worsening mental health, which, if left unaddressed, can lead to long-term problems in mental health as well as in learning, and physical health. In response, GreenLight invested in bringing Child First to Boston. 

Families receiving Child First programming experience positive outcomes through all stages of development, such as decreasing stress, increasing stability, and promoting nurturing relationships. A 2011 randomized control trial showed decreased behavioral problems for children and mothers experiencing lower levels of depression. Ultimately, families were less likely to be involved with child protective services and felt better able to provide the care needed to their children.

In partnership with a continuum of care organizations, Child First will bolster the mental health workforce and implement their model with local organizations serving the hardest-to-reach families. With $2.4M already committed outside of GreenLight’s investment and robust partnerships in early childhood and mental health, Child First is expected to serve 1,000+ children and families over their first four years.

Child First: Healing young children and families from the effects of trauma and adversity

Child First’s Local Goals

Over the next four years


individuals will be reached across seven providers


of families will demonstrate improvement in at least one predetermined goal


of children will display a decrease in behavior problems

Play is a powerful way for families to connect, bond, grow and heal.

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