Infant & Early Childhood Systems
ACF Early Head Start Research Project
In 2020, the COE was awarded a grant from the Administration for Children & Families to conduct a research study on Early Head Start (EHS). This project is national in scope and uses the Baby FACES 2018 data set. An important component of EHS is connecting families to services outside of the early care and learning setting. The COE study focuses on referral-making processes and referral connections made among children and families who are at-risk within EHS programs. This study seeks to understand which EHS families are being referred to services based on level and type of risk, including demographic and other risk-related indicators (e.g. absent parent, parent with substance use issue). We are examining the families’ level of need and how it aligns with the rates of referral and referral connection. Additionally, GHPC is looking at the impact that the following factors may have on referral-making and referral uptake: Urbanicity of the EHS program, quality of staff relationships with families, and the types of training staff have received.
This project is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award (Grant #: 90YE0245) totaling $99,737 with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
IDT Prevention/Early Intervention Workgroup
The Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) workgroup seeks to provide oversight to the System of Care strategic plan activities focused on promoting, preventing, and treating the social-emotional health of families in Georgia by expanding access to services that target children from birth to age four. Evidence suggests that this period of early development is critical for the long-term health of children, and that negative effects from challenges during this time can continue to have impacts into adulthood. Investing in services that support healthy development for children this age and their families leads to not only better health outcomes but reduced social costs as well. Our workgroup is identifying existing programs within Georgia and examining best practices from around the country to inform how to best build the infrastructure needed to provide families with a system of care.
The workgroup group includes diverse stakeholders from the following organizations and agencies: Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Jesse Parker Williams Foundation, Amerigroup, Georgia Division of Family & Children’s Services (DFCS), United Way of Greater Atlanta, Georgia State University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Department of Public Health, Center for Disease Control, WellCare, Caresource Inc. Arianne Weldon (Georgia Family Connection Partnership) and Callan Wells (GEEARS) are acting co-chairs along with Lisa McGarrie representing the Center of Excellence.
The COE recently launched its COE Convening event series with a virtual opportunity that discussed the importance of early childhood social-emotional well-being and early care and education. Future COE Convenings will address topics related to behavioral health throughout the lifespan. To view our October event, please visit the recording link: Zero to Five: Building Connections for Lifelong Impact
The COE has an ongoing series of policy briefs on developing systems to support Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH). These first two briefs will build on the COE convening, Zero to Five: Building Connections to Lifelong Impact, and help inform the new SOC State Plan’s added focus on IECMH. The briefs will cover topics on workforce development, financing, and innovations in increasing access to IECMH services. The COE provides highlights on current progress in the field in Georgia, promising practices from our southeastern neighbors, and innovations from across the country.