The School Readiness program focuses on identifying developmental delays and behavioral issues at the earliest age possible and then links families to appropriate services and support. Our highly trained staff will screen your child in your home and work with your family to provide an individualized plan of services to meet any needs that are identified. Services are provided to children ages 0-8 and their families who live in Orange County.
Services provided may include:
- Discussion of needs and concerns related to early childhood development
- Completion of an initial early childhood mental health assessment
- Screenings related to achievement of developmental milestones
- Provision of referrals and linkages to support services (Counseling, Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Specialty Services for Medical Concerns, Medi-Cal Enrollment, Other resources)
- Short-term parenting education and support
- Community Trainings throughout Orange County that educate the community, parents, and professionals in identifying signs of emotional disturbance and behavioral conditions in children 0-8
Some of the concerns addressed while working together may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
- Changes or disturbances related to sleeping or eating
- Difficulties managing emotions
- Anxiety, including separation anxiety, school phobia, isolation from peers
- Frequent or intense tantrums
- Physical aggression- hitting, biting, kicking
- Other behavioral issues not responsive to typical parent interventions
- Difficulties in the parent-child relationship
- Apparent lack of healthy social skills, difficulty relating to other children, obsessive play
- Headaches, stomach aches or other complaints that are not related to a physical cause
- Difficulties in adjusting to a family separation or divorce, move or other stressor
Our program has built relationships with early childhood care and education providers, pediatricians, and community- based organizations. We partner with each other to work with families of young children. The School Readiness program also works in collaboration with Help Me Grow and utilizes approaches developed by the Early Developmental Screening and Intervention (EDSI) initiative and the organization ZERO TO THREE.
How a Child/Family Qualifies for Services
The School Readiness program works with families of children ages 0-8 who live in Orange County. The School Readiness program is funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency using Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), Prop. 63 funds. As such, services are provided at no cost to you and your family. Services are provided in English, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, and other languages.
What to Expect During a Home Visit
During a home visit, your family can expect to feel comfortable, supported and informed. Our team assesses each child’s social/emotional and developmental health in order to identify opportunities for support towards a brighter future.
A Mental Health Worker will meet with you and your child at home or another place of your choosing and will…
- Complete a comprehensive Initial child and family Needs Assessment (INA)
- Administer a set of screening tools depending on the age of your child. Screenings may include the Ages & Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3), the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE2), the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI), the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), and/or other appropriate tools.
After the initial evaluation is complete, the Mental Health Worker will provide you feedback related to the findings and recommend services, if necessary, to address any needs identified in the assessment. If your family moves forward with the services, a Mental Health Worker will continue to work with you and your child. Services may include:
- Referrals to appropriate agencies ( i.e. Primary Care Physician, Regional Center, School District, Connect the Tots, or Other Specialist)
- Short-term parenting training interventions utilizing a structured, evidence-based program, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)
- Follow-up to ensure successful linkages to community referrals provided
With your permission, our team will communicate with any providers you and your child are already working with (such as their primary care physician, pre-school/school teacher or other) to ensure effective collaboration in addressing your child’s and family’s needs