Dr. Jayne Singer Honored with T. Berry Brazelton Award for Innovation

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March 1, 2024

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Dr. Jayne Singer

Jayne Singer PhD, IECMH-E®, Director of Developmental and Relational Health and Director of Clinical Training at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC), has been honored with the T. Berry Brazelton Award for Innovation, given by the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) Division of Developmental Medicine. She received the award in December 2023. The award is given for “key advances in innovation, creativity in practice, scientifically or administratively, creation of new systems to solve problems, scientific advances, program development, and impact.”

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award in Berry’s name,” Dr. Singer said. “He was a dear, trusted colleague, mentor, and thought partner for 30 years whom I miss dearly. Receiving this in his name is a high point in my time at Boston Children’s Hospital.”

This award acknowledges the breadth and depth of Dr. Singer’s contributions to working with infants, young children, and families, which embody Berry Brazelton’s legacy. She is an internationally recognized authority on infant and family mental health theory, research, assessment, and intervention. She also is an expert on working with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and delays, and their families. In addition to her roles at BTC, she is a senior attending psychologist at BCH and assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Singer began working with Dr. Brazelton in 1989 in the Early Childhood Program (ECP), the clinic associated with the Child Development Unit at BCH, and saw patients collaboratively with him and other team members, as well as independently. She went on to play a key role in the development and implementation of the Brazelton Touchpoints Approach to child and family development, and, in 1998, Dr. Brazelton invited her to lead an initiative to adapt the Touchpoints Approach for early care and education settings. She is the primary author of the Touchpoints Reference Guide for Early Care and Education, the Touchpoints Reflective Practice Workbook, and Touchpoints in Reflective Supervision and Mentorship.

Her adaptation of Touchpoints for early education helped enable BTC to expand its consultation, training, and mentorship to nationwide systems of care, including Educare of America, Tribal Early Head Start/Head Start centers, and the national Head Start training and technical assistance network. As a senior trainer with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, she developed and delivered numerous training modules and national webinars, including on topics related to developmental delays and trauma, which influenced the practices of thousands of providers.

More recently, Dr. Singer led adaptations of the Touchpoints Approach training program for mental health clinicians, for professionals working with children with developmental challenges and their families, and for providers working with families in recovery for substance use disorders (SUD) and their children. As core faculty of the Brazelton Institute, she spearheaded the development of the clinical application of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system in the treatment of newborns after prenatal substance exposure, postnatal withdrawal syndrome, and their families in SUD recovery. Her passionate advocacy for improved care for families, infants, and young children affected by SUD has resulted in large-scale initiatives of training and crucial practice change in several states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, and West Virginia.

She also helped lead a team at BTC that created, in collaboration with Ariadne Labs, the Development is a Journey Roadmap, a tool for assisting practitioners in engaging families in challenging conversations about developmental screening results. The CDC has posted the tool on its website, and Dr. Singer has trained hundreds of providers in its use.

Dr. Singer is frequently invited to present to national and international audiences on such topics as developmental-relational care, infant mental health, trauma-informed care, autism and related disorders, postpartum mood disorders, promoting social-emotional health, family engagement, developmental differences, and early intervention and inclusion. She is dedicated to advocacy and policy improvement on behalf of young children and families, and has served as Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health, Commissioner on the Rep. Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression (Massachusetts), and in the Infant and Early Childhood branch of the Children’s Mental Health Campaign.

Please join all of us at BTC in congratulating Jayne Singer on receiving the T. Berry Brazelton Award for Innovation. What a well-deserved honor!

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