The Early Screening Task Force is working to develop voluntary, free and universal screening of preschool children for social, emotional and behavioral problems. The Early Screening Task Force developed a model for screening preschool children that focuses on parent engagement and education. Called Child Check √, it is now conducted by staff of Lutheran Community Services of the North West (LCSNW), Port Angeles, and is funded by United Way, Prevention Works! and other private donations.
Child Check √ typically involves a 60 to 90-minute session between the screener and parent after the child is screened. It is a non-threatening way for parents to receive information about their child’s development, learn relevant parenting tips and receive information about community resources and referrals. It is offered free to any family whose child, ages eighteen months through six years old, requests a screening. Most parents use Child Check √ as an easy way to learn more about both their child and their parenting. Some parents have concerns about their child’s development. If concerns are identified, referral resources and parent coaching are available for further help. A Parent Resource Notebook is offered to all participating families and each child receives a free book.
The Early Identification Task Force consists of a group of professional early educators, health and social service providers and parents who meet regularly to advise LCSNW staff about Child Check √ and to encourage the development of additional community resources for young children with a variety of problems.
- Continue to seek the capacity to expand screening, parent coaching and Play and Learn groups throughout the county. Our goal is to screen 400 to 500 children per year.
- Expand awareness of Child Check √ among all licensed child care providers in the county and all primary health care providers.
- Conduct a public awareness campaign to alert parents to this free screening service.
- Continue to work through the Forks school District and the ECAP program to provide Child Check √ screenings to 18 month to 3 year old children in Hispanic communities.
- Participate with the County Health Department in publishing a guide to screening of young children in Clallam County.
- Continue to identify gaps in services to families. Advocate for the creation of additional parenting education resources and additional professional intervention resources for young children and their parents.