Leadership Team

Melissa Wijngaarde, MSW, LCSW

Maternal & Infant Mental Health Director

Melissa Wijngaarde is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is the Maternal and Infant Mental Health Director at Families First. Melissa was promoted to the position after serving for two years as the Clinical Director of Families First’s Child First Program. Melissa has expertise in the field of infant mental health, early intervention, and child parent psychotherapy. Melissa came to Families First in October 2019 after 15 years at the University of Miami’s Linda Ray Intervention Center where her work focused on Child Parent Psychotherapy as a treatment provider, supervisor, and trainer within the Dependency Court system. While at the University of Miami, Melissa collaborated on the Miami Child Well-Being Court™ model which focused on addressing the relational, emotional, developmental and mental health needs of infants and toddlers in care. Melissa is a Zero to Three DC:0-5 Diagnostic Trainer and over the past 7 years has conducted trainings all over the state of Florida for clinicians and parent educators on Infant Mental Health, specifically the areas of behavioral observation, assessment with children under 5, early intervention, early recognition of autism spectrum disorder, and social emotional development.   Melissa practices reflective supervision and is a qualified supervisor in the state of Florida.