Ventura County CA- Child Welfare Clinical Team’s Professional Development Project

Dr. Stroud has been involved in an ongoing systems change initiative with Ventura County Behavioral Health Department (VCBH) to develop increased training and expertise in Infant Mental Health Clinical practice to support the more than 49% of children birth to five detained by child welfare. Since 2016 Dr. Stroud has been providing capacity building training as well as reflective consultation to selected VCBH clinical therapists. The initiative includes 16 hours of foundational Infant Mental Health training inclusive of attachment, brain development, social-emotional assessment, the impact of trauma on development, dyadic interventions and more. Following the training series, clinicians may participate in monthly advance reflective consultation sessions to connect their training to direct practice. In addition to providing training to VCBH clinical staff, Dr. Stroud has trained 156 child welfare staff in a one day introduction to the relational power of develop as well as the impact of parental loss. VCBH’s commitment to building a highly skilled work force has not stopped here. They have requested ongoing full day training on special topics include: Play as a Developmental & Clinical tool, Advanced Dyadic Interventions, Compassion Fatigue & Burnout, and Cultural Diversity. As of 2019 in collaboration with VCBH Dr. Stroud has trained approximately 680 clinical staff and provided a total of 150 reflective consultation hours.


Dr. Stroud’s expertise and insight was sought out as Ventura County embarked upon mandated implementation of Pathways to Wellbeing and Continuum of Care Reform in serving our most vulnerable foster youth. Knowledge and clinical capacity building on multiple levels was required which resulted this creative professional development approach. We have found Dr. Stroud’s trainings and consultation to be a valuable asset to our clinical teams.

Dina Olivas, LCSW, Sr. Manager

Integrating Early Intervention and Infant Mental Health

Since 2014 Dr. Stroud has been consulting with KC Kids Early Learning Center, a Part C provider, to facilitate the development of a co-treatment model. The goals of this integrated model is that all providers have foundational knowledge and general skills to engage in infant mental health strategies in alignment with their primary discipline. Key to this co-treatment model is access to a licensed mental health provider (Endorsed Infant Mental Health Specialist) available to attend home visits as a member of the multidisciplinary KC Kids professional team. The KC Kids provider community has implemented the Neurorelational Framework (NRF) as a guiding principle for understanding family systems and supporting all development. The NRF is a trauma informed practice which the KC Kids team uses to help build robust stress recovery strategies within family systems  Dr. Stroud has provide ongoing monthly reflective consultation to the KC Kids leadership team in support of the application of the NRF across a transdisciplinary community of home visitation staff. Additionally Dr. Stroud has provided ongoing capacity building support of reflective leadership development within the KC Kids Reflective Practice Facilitators’ team.

Barbara brings a wealth of knowledge, breadth of experience, and depth of understanding to this complex work with children and families through her spirit of acceptance, hope, and healing.  Her support for the KC KIDS team has expanded our capacity in reflective practice to explore our work with families and ourselves with cultural sensitivity.  Barbara’s guidance has deepened our understanding and enhanced our ability to “be with” families in relationship to provide effective services and supports and experience together both challenge and celebration.”

Freda Kaprielian, ECSE MA RPF Mentor


Dr. Stroud has developed a training curriculum to introduce participants to the use of her well received and highly respected text ‘How to Measure a Relationship: A practical approach to dyadic interventions” This training has been provided to a variety of infant mental health professionals including early intervention (part c) providers, early care and education, mental health, and more. When examining optimal relationships for developmental success, Dr. Stroud introduces participants to the psychological tasks of childhood, which outline the functional activities of early development. These functional task of childhood are the foundational elements of social emotional success and relational health. Absence or impairment in these basic and required early developmental tasks would constitute medical necessity, an area in which some providers struggle to operationalize. Specifically, participants are directed in the use of “the Causal Rubric” a clinical decision tree that allows providers to design interventions from a place of understanding the child’s developmental needs, relationship needs, and/or environmental stressors that may impact life success. How to Measure a Relationships allows providers to target interventions toward the causes of the challenge and not the behavior itself. By addressing the causal nature of the problem and increasing protective factors within the family system, a fundamental shift in the dynamic nature of the caregiving relationship can take place. How to Measure a Relationship, provides a valuable tool to assess dyads, establish medical necessity, outline dyadic goals and describe relationship focused interventions.


“Dr. Stroud’s ‘How to Measure a Relationship’ training adds yet another layer of depth and enrichment to her already invaluable and highly acclaimed text. Through Stroud’s extensive experience, passion for the work, and ability to engage her audience, concepts from the book become tangible, and interventions come alive.  Stroud’s training reaches all levels; whether you are new to the field or a seasoned professional, you will walk away feeling reinvigorated and confident in your ability to provide effective relationship-based treatment to children and families.”

Jessica Bernal, LMFT


“In both direct Clinical Supervision and Reflective Practice supervision Dr. Stroud provides clarity while embracing complexity within Early Intervention services. Her strong background in Developmental Psychology has provided wisdom and guidance while building a co-treatment model of mental health services and early childhood special education services. Embracing her Reflective Practice values beginning with safety keeps us anchored in turbulent waters.”

- Cathy Pope, RN, LMFT