The Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission strongly supports the early identification and intervention of behavorial/mental health issues of young children.
Some children 0-5 may developmental delays, but do not display obvious signs of them. These children, especially those not yet in school, do not usually receive the follow-up (either through assessments or services) that could be extremely beneficial in a short window of time in their development. Community based and school based programs funded by the Commission provide developmental screenings (Ages and Stages Questionaire - 3 and Ages and Stages Questionare - Social Emotional) that "catch" these non-indicated children, possibly preventing more intensive services in the future. When indicated, these programs refer children and their families for additional assessment, and then follow up to ensure that services were obtained. During the '09-'10 fiscal year, 4,363 children were screened and 654 (15%) were referred for further assessment or services.
The Zero to Five Early Intervention Partnership (0-5 EIP) is a unique and innovative collaboration of two mental health programs that focus on the development of social emotional health in children, families, and communities impacted by risk factors. This program also partners with Family Resource Centers, School Readiness Programs, Healthy Starts, and other community organizations to identify need within families. Services include clinical mental health counseling, case management, and community mental health consultation and counseling. The result of these services is improved mental health for children 0-5, reduction in risk factors for child abuse and neglect, and improved quality and stability of early learning programs. In'09-'10, 783 children were provided early preventative mental health services, and 287 children were provided clinical mental health services; 82% of the parents indicated significant reduction in their child's mental health symptoms; and clinical staff report reductions in risk factors for 84% o the participating families.