By Lindsay Knotts, USICH Management and Program Analyst
Our partners at the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education just launched Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! – a coordinated, Federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them.Video Message from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!
Birth to 5 will help families look for and celebrate milestones, promote universal screenings, identify delays as early as possible, and improve the support available to children, including those experiencing homelessness.
Included among the resources in Birth to 5 is a list of research-based developmental screening tools, tip sheets, guidance on finding help at the local level, a screening passport, and guides on how to use the screeners for a variety of audiences, including homeless service providers.
The Housing and Shelter Provider’s Guide to Developmental and Behavioral Screening will help providers better serve the developmental and behavioral health of children under five for families experiencing homelessness; it will also help providers facilitate referrals for further screening and evaluation of young children when required.
The Housing and Shelter Provider’s Guide to Developmental and Behavioral Screening will equip providers with the tools they need to engage families regarding their children, factor the unique needs of children into housing plans and supports, and to link families to the right specialists within the community after screening. Connections like these are crucial to building systems to end family homelessness within our communities.