CHARLOTTE, NC, January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is pleased to announce the award of a Race to the Top Challenge grant, a federal funded initiative via the Early Learning Challenge. These funds will be applied to the implementation of Assuring Better Health and Development (ABCD) model, which is a proven, universal approach to screening young children in primary health care settings.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for regional collaboration to improve developmental screening rates and early intervention referrals for young children," said Jane Meyer, executive director of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.
Smart Start will contract with the Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg to provide an ABCD Coordinator who will serve identified medical practices in Anson, Mecklenburg, and Union Counties. The ABCD Coordinator will assist medical providers to integrate routine developmental screening into their patient care process, use validated screening tools, talk with parents about developmental concerns, and most importantly, help provide linkages to community resources so when screenings reveal potential issues, the medical professional can refer to follow-up services.
ABCD works to increase health and development screening and referral rates for all children within the medical home by integrating routine developmental screening into well-child visits, using either the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or the Parents Evaluation of Developmental Skills (PEDS). Medical professionals are also taught to use the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT) and to refer children needing follow-up to appropriate community services.
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is a local nonprofit that funds programs for families and children birth to five in areas of health, family support, and early childhood education. For more information, visit their website at smartstartofmeck.org.
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