Founding director of the YCS Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health and was a past president of the New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health. The YCS Institute is the first clinical service for families with young children in the state, which continues to serve families with children from pregnancy through age 6 in the communities. In addition, Costa worked for more than 30 years to build capacity in the workforce to ensure and enhance the health and well-being of families at the earliest moments of their formation. He worked for over 30 years throughout New Jersey and across the country to build capacity in the workforce to ensure and enhance the health and well-being of families at the earliest moments of their formation.
Founded the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University (CAECMH). Under his direction, the CAECMH provided clinical services to infants, children, and families throughout the state through developmental and relational practice. The CAECMH is known as one of the only providers of developmental treatment approaches to autism in our state, and Dr. Costa is consistently referred to as the foremost expert in developmental, individual difference, and relationship-based approaches in New Jersey, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Costa advanced the model of professional formation (Costa and Mulcahy, 2016; Costa, 2021), which discusses workforce development as needing to integrate ways of knowing, doing, and being in all preparation and continuing education programs. Through this focus, Dr. Costa has disseminated multiple evidence-based state-wide professional formation activities across the state, including Brazelton Touchpoints, Circle of Security Parenting, Zippy’s Friends, and the Pyramid Model.