Policy Resource

California Statewide Screening Taskforce

Sep 1, 2017

The California Statewide Screening Taskforce is an interagency collaboration of representatives from all major state agencies serving young children and key organizational partners.

The taskforce has worked to implement state-specific strategies to improve early identification of young children with developmental delays and special needs, building on the work of the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant and the ABCD Screening Academy.

In a statewide collaborative effort to increase the use of standardized developmental screening tools and referral into early intervention services for all young children, the California Statewide Screening Collaborative, as it was originally named, launched the California Screening Initiative in October 2009. During the 2009-2010 program year, the initiative provided developmental screening resources and support activities for providers from multiple sectors who work with young children. To ensure that their resources and tools became widespread throughout the state, the group worked with key stakeholders in the medical, early care and education, and child welfare communities to develop messaging for their particular constituents, and distributed information through numerous newsletters, listservs, and letters.

In 2015 the group released the Developmental and Behavioral Screening Guide for Early Care and Education Providers to increase awareness of and access to screening, services and supports, and referral resources that are available for California’s young children and their families. The guide includes an overview and discussion of the provider’s role in screening and monitoring within the context of early care and education settings, including:

  • The differences between screening and monitoring
  • When and why to screen
  • How to engage and support families in the process

The taskforce is currently supported through the California Home Visiting Program in the Center for Family Health’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division, and the Department of Developmental Services. The group is focused on working together to develop specific products related to developmental screening, referral and linkage to services for children under age three. Members examine current developmental screening practices across the state and assist with designing products for provider use.

Revised July 2017.

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