San Joaquin County has developed the United Cerebral Palsy Great Beginnings Program, providing in-home treatment services county-wide to children age 0-5 with special needs and their families. This program continuously funded since 2002 provides visits in homes, child care centers, preschools and the sensory integration clinic from physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists and early intervention teachers. The children served are those who have a noted delay at screening and assessment, but are unable to qualify for Early Start or Special Education services.
In 2005 Great Beginnings services were coordinated with Ages and Stages Questionnaire developmental screenings provided by all First 5 San Joaquin school readiness programs in the County. In 2008 the First 5 San Joaquin funded Family Resource Centers also began to provide developmental screenings at five sites. Valley Mountain Regional Center, the Family Resource Network and the three County Special Education Local Planning Areas (SELPA’s) provide community agency training on referral processes to Early Start Programs. In 2011, many children participating in First 5 programs are provided the ASQ. Training supports First 5 efforts to screen young children for developmental delays and disabilities in San Joaquin County and make appropriate referrals.
Early identification, intervention, and treatment services are also supported by First 5 San Joaquin. In combination with the University of the Pacific, through a strong community partnership, First 5 San Joaquin aligns developmental screenings, early childhood mental health and family support, to address preschool children’s early mental health needs. Behavioral intervention services funded by First 5 San Joaquin provide University master level interns to work with children and their families, social workers, nurses, and educators to offer behavioral assessments and intervention services using positive reinforcement strategies to encourage constructive behavioral change.