Healthy Beginnings: Our Child Development Program

Selected by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, HomeSafe is the exclusive Entry Agency for children from birth through five years of age and their families to the Healthy Beginnings System of Care in Palm Beach County.

Through the Entry Agency 0-5, our team screens and assesses children for developmental concerns and social-emotional/behavioral matters, and signs of depression for children and their parents, including postpartum depression for newly delivered mothers.

Once a concern is identified, HomeSafe refers all at-risk families to appropriate services, either within the agency or externally.

About the HomeSafe Healthy Beginnings Team 

Our team consists of Hospital Liaisons, Outreach Educators, System Navigators, Developmental Consultants, and Developmental Support Specialists. Each role is vital in providing service and support to families in Palm Beach County. All of our services are offered in English, Spanish, and Creole.

Outreach

Through referrals by community providers or self-referrals by parents, HomeSafe Outreach Educators conduct the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and the Ages & Stages Questionnaire Social-Emotional (ASQ-SE) to screen for possible developmental and behavioral concerns in children. According to screening outcomes, Outreach Educators can then refer children to HomeSafe Developmental Consultants for a second-level assessment. The Outreach team also provides parents with activities to do with their children in order to improve development and behavior, or to keep the child on track so they are ready and eager for kindergarten. Outreach Educators provide parents with information about child development stages, along with speaking to the Palm Beach County community at family events, conferences, and seminars about toxic stress and how it affects brain development in children ages 0-5.

Assessment Team

Through the post-natal Entry Agency, our Hospital Liaisons conduct the Healthy Start Infant Risk Screen and post-partum and history of trauma assessments to newly delivered mothers in all maternity hospitals throughout Palm Beach County. Through the assessment process, our liaisons are able to refer families to services that will help reduce stressors and deter risk factors including physical, emotional, economic, and social challenges affecting the family and the new baby.

HomeSafe Developmental Consultants conduct a wide range of second-level assessments after initial screenings have been conducted and the need for further assessment has been determined. Developmental Consultants assess child development, social-emotional, behavior, trauma, family relationships, as well as parental stress, and maternal postpartum and parental depression. Once the assessments have been conducted based on need, Developmental Consultants may refer eligible families to programs such as counseling services, therapy, or parenting programs.

Navigation

HomeSafe System Navigators provide assistance to families who are currently receiving services within the Healthy Beginnings System of Care. The Navigation Team provides Safe Sleep services, which include education and providing families with a baby 0-12 months with a safe place to sleep. In addition, System Navigators can assist families in applying for Medicaid and finding a local pediatrician.

Additional Early Childhood Development Resources

Growing Smart

Growing Smart is a developmental surveillance program that gives families living in Palm Beach County the opportunity to screen their children at every developmental stage during the first two years. Throughout the program, a Developmental Support Specialist will provide at least six home visits to promote parental knowledge about assessment tools. These visits enable parents to independently administer the assessment, which will identify developmental concerns during early stages, and intervene with age appropriate activities to the corresponding stage in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Gross motor
  • Fine motor
  • Problem-Solving
  • Personal-Social skills

Parents will also increase their knowledge about household safety, immunization schedules, and overall child development and the stages that go along with it.

The program allows parents to identify possible developmental and/or behavioral problems that may otherwise have eluded early detection. Children identified through the ASQ-3 and/or the ASQ: SE-2 as needing early intervention are then referred further assessment and appropriate services in the Healthy Beginnings System of Care.

Thirty Million Words (TMW)

The Thirty Million Words (TMW) evidence-based intervention program aims to impact and empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to foster their children’s development and improve the quality of parent-child interactions in everyday settings, to enhance their children’s early learning environment.

TMW is designed to help narrow the language gap between children from lower-income families and those in higher-income households. In partnership with the Children’s Services Council and the University of Chicago, HomeSafe began implementation of TMW-Newborn at St. Mary’s Medical Center in July 2019. HomeSafe Hospital Liaisons complete the Healthy Start Infant Risk Screen with parents and caregivers of newborns while they are still in the maternity ward. The TMW-Newborn program is video-based, and parents receive the program via iPads at bedside. TMW-Newborn is available in both English and Spanish.

Goals of Our Child Development Program

Our goals are to:

  • Educate families about the importance of child development.
  • Help parents monitor their children’s growth by providing free screenings and assessments.
  • Assist families with small children build a healthy future, enabling them to be ready to learn when they start kindergarten.

Is your young child (age 0-5) growing at a healthy pace? Are you concerned about your child’s behavior? Contact us to schedule a free appointment. We provide services in English, Spanish, and Creole.

Please call 561-383-9800 and the appropriate extension below to make a referral.

For Spanish, please dial ext. 1501 or 1705

For Creole please dial ext. 1801 or 1806

For English, dial any extension listed above.

Child Looking at Water alone

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