Childhood Intervention Initiative

The Childhood Intervention Initiative (CII) began in 1997 to provide children and families, many living at or below the federal poverty level, with mental health services and support. The CII is funded primarily through grants and individual contributions. The program started as a partnership with Princeton Nursery School and has expanded to serve Princeton Public, West Windsor-Plainsboro, and Cranbury School Districts. Nursery school-based services include in class observations, parent psychoeducation and advocacy. District schools refer students in need of individual counseling directly to TCS for ongoing services. CII clients (and family members) may receive ongoing counseling at no fee until the summer after students graduate from high school.

CII Intervention Methods

Through the CII, children of all ages receive expert mental health interventions. Pre-school aged children are observed by a bi-lingual Masters Level School Social Worker.  The social worker then works in partnership with the preschool teachers to identify the needs of individual children and assess the level of intervention most appropriate based on their emotional and behavioral functioning. The majority of preschool children identified to receive support are treated in the classroom through a method of emotional and behavioral modeling supported by the child psychologist. If additional or more intensive support is needed, the child may be referred to TCS to receive one-on-one counseling with a licensed TCS clinician at the TCS office. However, this rarely occurs as most interventions can take place effectively and with lasting impact in the classroom itself.

Children at the K-12 levels are regularly identified and referred to the CII by school guidance counselors and child study teams thanks to a strong collaboration with partner schools. Once referred, TCS’ Director of Clinical Operations, who is also a licensed clinical social worker, works with the child’s family and a TCS clinician to schedule therapy for the client(s). In addition, any family member of the child that needs to be seen in order to improve overall family functioning, and for the betterment of the child, may be seen.

Outcome Measurements

Each year, our clinicians administer outcome measurements for parents and teachers to assess the improvement of those students tested. The focus is twofold:

  • Academically: impulse control, mood, work habits, concentration, etc.
  • Behaviorally: relationships with teachers, parents, classmates, siblings and friends.

Questions about the CII should be directed to Dr. Peggy Grauwiler, Director of Clinical Operations, at 609-924-0060.

CII Open Planning Meeting

On August 26, 2014, TCS hosted the first Open Planning Meeting for stakeholders of the Childhood Intervention Initiative at the Princeton Public Library. This meeting brought together staff and clinicians from TCS, Princeton Nursery School, John Witherspoon Middle School, Princeton High School, and members of the TCS Board of Directors to discuss changes to and goals for the Childhood Intervention Initiative. This meeting was the first step toward a more open and collaborative communication strategy that TCS is embarking on with all its programs. At the start of the 2015-2016 School Year the CII expanded to include West Windsor/Plainsboro Public Schools and Cranbury School District. For more information, please email Dr. Peggy Grauwiler, Director of Clinical Operations, at