Policy

It is critical that policies reflect the significance of the early years as the foundation for positive lifelong outcomes. This includes educating policymakers on state and federal screening requirements as well as developing state and federal policy to strengthen language and oversight on screening to ensure all children receive early and periodic validated developmental and behavioral screenings and appropriate interventions. In addition, educating policymakers on the impact of trauma and trauma-informed approaches increases the likelihood that they are able to use a trauma-informed lens to develop federal and statewide policies. First 5 LA is working closely with the American Academy of Pediatrics and Help Me Grow California to advance policy efforts and improve coordination of systems and support. First 5 LA is also a part of the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity, which is focused on addressing gaps and structural inequities in systems so they can prevent and appropriately respond to childhood adversity, strengthen protective factors and build resilience.

Systems Change

Strengthening coordination between child and family serving systems while at the same time building the service delivery system’s capacity is needed to ensure care delivery better meets families’ diverse needs. First 5 LA is partnering with other funders to support the advancement of trauma-informed systems change in L.A. County including demonstration projects that pilot trauma and resiliency systems change strategies. Our work with the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will design and implement a cross-systems, citywide trauma and resiliency-informed approach. This project will document organization culture shift, and how services are delivered and communities engaged to inform replication. Our systems change work in Early Identification and Intervention includes the build out of Help Me Grow-Los Angeles (HMG-LA). Help Me Grow is a national effort that promotes local cross-sector collaboration to bolster early identification of developmental and behavioral delays. HMG-LA will improve coordination among existing systems that serve children to implement and strengthen early identification and link children and their families to appropriate intervention services and supports. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is partnering with First 5 LA to launch, test, and refine the core components of the Help Me Grow model (centralized access point, community and family engagement, child health provider outreach, data collection and analysis). Pilot projects will be developed with LA Care Health Plan and within select demonstration communities for a phased, data-driven rollout of HMG-LA.

Practice

Innovative practice improvement offers the opportunity to inform policy and spark delivery system transformation. Since 2014, the First Connections program, sponsored by First 5 LA, has been testing new approaches for community-based providers to embed developmental screening and strengthen referral processes within their practices to better identify children with or at-risk for developmental delays and connect children and their families to culturally and linguistically appropriate early intervention services and supports. Another important effort looking at practice improvement to inform systems change includes our work with L.A. Care Health Plan to pilot activities to strengthen early identification and intervention practices among child health providers. There is commitment to address the complexity of the issue through a multi-tiered approach including member and community outreach efforts, utilizing health information technology strategies to support practice transformation, as well as technology and workflow improvements at clinic sites.


First Connections

First 5 LA launched the First Connections Program to address system barriers and reduce disparities in screening for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays...

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Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow is a national effort that builds on existing resources at the local level to strengthen how systems work together to provide timely screenings for developmental and behavioral delays, effective care coordination and appropriate referrals to ensure young children have the support they need to thrive...

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Trauma-Informed Systems Change

The connection between trauma and parenting plays a significant role in the lives of parents, children and their communities. Early childhood trauma, whether it’s the experience of the parents or their children, can carry a profound impact on the future well-being of families...

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Making the News: Developmental Screening

Kids, starting at birth, are expected to meet certain develo...

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First 5 Explains: Developmental Screenings/Early Intervention

Early Identification and Intervention: The early years of a...

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Help Me Grow-LA Releases Report: “Promoting Optimal Children’s Development”

The early design and planning phase for Help Me Grow LA (HMG...

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Help Me Grow–LA Launches to Improve Developmental Outcomes

Years ago, First 5 LA Commissioner Cynthia Harding said reac...

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