Children and their families not only need but
deserve comprehensive, high-quality developmental screening services and
supports. However, many
young children growing up in poverty are not screened at all,
and studies within the pediatric community and our local experiences suggest
that some, if not many, children receive inadequate supports
once they are identified as at risk for delays.
Division of Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) recently
evaluated developmental screening services for a network of community-based
programs in Allegheny County. Several challenges and associated needs for
support were identified:
are under-identifying the number of children at risk for delays.
few children identified as at risk for delays through the screenings are
connected to EI agencies for further evaluation of developmental or behavioral
children are identified by screenings as at-risk, screening staff may
experience a lack of confidence and knowledge about how to effectively
communicate with parents and how to effectively support parents in connecting
to needed services.
For more information on quality screening, click
To watch video clips about the screening process from the perspective of a parent and staff members, click here.
It is essential that
programs have systems in place to continuously monitor the impact of their
screening service, so that they can identify improvement needs and
opportunities to ensure quality services. DARE remains committed to supporting
programs in these areas in addition to utilizing the voices of stakeholders to
strengthen service delivery and associated supports.
Presentation from National Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect
Colleagues from DARE and the School of Social Work recently conducted a four-part workshop at the 18th National Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect held in Washington, D.C. The workshop, “Implementing best practices for developmental and social-emotional screening into child welfare and community support systems”, provided an overview of statewide and local systems that deliver developmental screenings to young children and discussed strategies and considerations for implementing quality screening practices.
Presenters: Mary E. Rautkis, Rachel Winters, Janell Smith-Jones, & Andrea Rudek