Georgia Department of Public Health - DeKalb County Board of Health - Babies Can’t Wait - East DeKalb Health Center
UPDATED: July 19, 2021
WHAT IS BABIES CAN’T WAIT?
Babies Can’t Wait is Georgia’s early intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities and their families.
It is a federally mandated program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which provides a framework for coordinating developmental, educational, and community support within natural environments for children under three and their families.
17% of US children have developmental disabilities, and many more experience delays in language or cognition, which have a significant impact school readiness.
Less than 50% of these children are identified as having a problem before starting school, by which time significant delays may have occurred and opportunities for intervention may have been missed.
Babies Can’t Wait works closely with physicians and health care providers to identify these children during infancy so that children and their families may receive the support they need.
WHY EARLY IDENTIFICATION AND SUPPORT?
The brain develops most rapidly during our first three years of life, providing a brief window of opportunity to detect developmental delays in children and address them before they become barriers to healthy development. A significant body of clinical research, conducted in the past ten years, identifies the enormous benefits of intervention services provided to a child during these formative years.
HOW CAN BABIES CAN’T WAIT HELP?
HOME SERVICES CHILDRENS MEDICAL SERVICES BABIES CAN’T WAIT HOW CAN BABIES CAN'T WAIT HELP?
Time constraints, staff shortages and lack of funding can make following up on early signs of delays or disabilities difficult for doctors, but the biggest barrier to healthy child development is the ever-closing window of opportunity for successful intervention in children under three. It is vital that infants and toddlers be connected to intervention services when they are at their most receptive.
BABIES CAN’T WAIT CAN HELP BY:
Providing developmental evaluation (birth–3 years)
Determining eligibility at no cost.
Developing an Individual Family Service Plan.
Providing service coordination to link families with community resources.
For children who are eligible, Babies Can’t Wait works with the family to develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) that outlines desired child/family outcomes. The BCW program also provides service coordination to each eligible child and family, ensuring coordination of efforts and linking families with necessary resources and supports in their community.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
HOME SERVICES CHILDRENS MEDICAL SERVICES BABIES CAN’T WAIT WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Babies Can’t Wait is designed for children from birth to age 3 years who need early intervention services and supports because they are experiencing a significant delay in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional or adaptive.
To be eligible for BCW, children must meet one of the criteria below:
Established condition: A child with a diagnosed mental or physical condition that is known to result in a developmental delay, even when no delay exists at the time of the referral.
Developmental delay: A child with a significant developmental delay that is confirmed by a qualified multidisciplinary team.
Some children will leave BCW before or at the age of 3 years and participate in programs and activities with or without any specialized assistance and services.
All children leaving BCW must have a plan for their “transition” from early intervention. The service coordinator will assist the family and serve as a link between BCW and whatever is to follow in order to ensure a smooth, seamless transition to other services or systems appropriate for the child and his/her family. This process begins at least 6 months prior to a child’s third birthday and enables the family to become familiar with their public preschool special education personnel, private preschool opportunities, Head Start and other options in their community.
HOW DOES A FAMILY FIND US?
HOME SERVICES CHILDRENS MEDICAL SERVICES BABIES CAN’T WAIT HOW DOES A FAMILY FIND US?
The best time to contact the Babies Can’t Wait program is at the earliest sign of a delay. We all know that children develop at different rates, but a “wait and see” approach can limit the benefits a child receives from later intervention supports, as developmental obstacles become more complex and are harder to manage as the child grows.
Anyone, including a parent, who is concerned about an infant’s or toddler’s development may make a referral to BCW. Participation is voluntary. Referrals can be made by calling the DeKalb County Board of Health Babies Can’t Wait program at 404-508-7981.
IS YOUR CHILD ON TARGET?
- Insurances Accepted:
- Call for Fee
- Private Insurance
2277 South Stone Mountain-Lithonia Rd
Lithonia, GA 30058
Website:BCW East DeKalb Health Center
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