This online manual, available in its entirety on The Commonwealth Fund Web site, will guide those interested in exploring, creating, and/or enhancing a statewide single-point-of-access system for children from birth to age 8 who are at risk for developmental or behavioral problems. The material is based on Connecticut's Help Me Grow initiative, a program that assists families and providers in identifying developmental concerns, finding appropriate resources, and helping families connect with programs and services.
The Issue: Despite many opportunities to intervene with children at risk for developmental delay, states face challenges in linking young children to the services they need. Most young children attend child care centers and visit health care professionals, and their families participate in a variety of service programs. Yet, even when children's developmental needs are recognized in these settings, connecting families and children with services often proves difficult. Matching children with services requires knowledge about community-based programs, an understanding of eligibility requirements, and persistence in navigating waiting lists and other enrollment barriers.
Organization: State of Connecticut's Children's Trust Fund; The United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1; the Connecticut Birth to Three System; the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs section of the Connecticut Department of Public Health; and Early Childhood Education.Target Audiences: Providers, planners, and funders, as well as advocates for children's services.
The Intervention: This Web-based manual provides practical information and guidance on addressing developmental and behavioral problems by helping parents and providers connect families to community resources via a single point of entry such as a call center. Components include:
- Building Collaboration. This section offers guidance on recruiting, and maintaining partnerships. A number of barriers to collaboration exist and solutions are discussed.
- The Call Center. Gives the steps for setting up a call center to serve as the single-point-of-entry, including staffing, maintaining up-to-date resource information, and collecting data.
- Community-Based Liaisons. Describes the work of child development community liaisons who work in regional offices, network with community organizations, and provide technical assistance and training to providers.
- Data Collection, Evaluation, and Continuous Quality Improvement. Reviews how to collect tracking data and offers strategies for monitoring the extent of developmental surveillance and referral by health care providers, families, child care centers, and agencies.
Contact Joanna Bogin at 860-610-4267 or JBogin@connecticutchildrens.org.