Project LAUNCH

Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) promotes the wellness of young children ages birth to 8 by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development.

The long-term goal of Project LAUNCH is to ensure that all children enter school ready to learn and able to succeed. Project LAUNCH is part of The National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention (NRC), which offers resources and technical assistance to states, tribes, territories, and local communities to come together to prevent youth violence and promote mental health. Project LAUNCH seeks to improve coordination across child-serving systems, build infrastructure, and increase access to high-quality prevention and wellness promotion services for children and their families. Project LAUNCH is guided by a unique, federal-level partnership among the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration for Children and Families, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

States, territories, and tribes select a local pilot community within the larger jurisdiction to be a partner in Project LAUNCH. They bring together child-serving organizations to develop policies, financial mechanisms, and other reforms to improve the integration and efficiency of the child-serving system. Local communities have a dual focus on improving collaboration across the child-serving system and improving access to and availability of evidence-based prevention and wellness promotion practices (including traditional tribal practices that promote wellness). Grantees infuse mental health‒informed practices into primary care, early care and education, home visiting, and family settings. Grantees implement five core prevention and promotion strategies: (1) screening and assessment in a variety of child-serving settings, (2) enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional well-being, (3) mental health consultation in early care and education programs, (4) family strengthening and parent skills training, and (5) integration of behavioral health into primary care settings. Innovative and effective prevention/promotion practices at the local level serve as models to be sustained and replicated throughout the state, territory, and tribe. ZERO TO THREE works with other partners in the NRC to provide training and technical assistance to LAUNCH grantees.