Late last summer, Ohio introduced a new single point of entry for access and referral to home visiting, Part C early intervention, and state-supported community health worker programs.
The statewide Help Me Grow Central Intake and Referral system establishes a consistent process to connect families to the most appropriate services to meet their needs. Central intake staff use a social determinants screen to gather information about families’ demographics, strengths, and needs. The screen weights families’ responses to each intake question within the context of census tract data, and then automatically matches them to services. For example, if a first-time pregnant mother is found to have a higher risk for infant mortality, the system will match her with Nurse-Family Partnership first.
Parents who express concerns about their child’s development will be referred to early intervention. The intake data is also used to assign families a social determinants risk score that service providers will monitor as they work with families. The new system is already showing some results – according to referral data, families are now being contacted two days faster after a referral is made than they were before.