Develop localized comprehensive resource and referral networks that meet community-specific needs to drive quality referrals, coordinate care, and ease navigation for families.
2.1.1 Create the opportunity for providers and families to access information about the available resources in their community. This could include a community-specific and/or statewide centralized access point
2.1.2 Establish a network of providers at the community level who refer families to services, communicate capacity and referral outcomes, and strengthen overall community partnerships and collaboration.
2.1.3 Use evidence-based, standardized screenings such as the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to identify need and connect families to the right services as early as possible.
2.1.4 Offer families with newborns a developmental screening passport to track development and support communication between them and providers.
2.1.5 Emphasize care coordination
1-800-CHILDREN operates a statewide resource directory, yet not all providers and communities know how to use it and keep it updated. Significant outreach and new promotional materials are helping ensure this resource reaches children and families in need. IRIS, a community network tool with 15 established networks across Kansas covering 22 counties, is expanding across the state to further help guide families and children in need of care and support.
The Child Care Systems Improvement Team and the Kansas Quality Network are exploring together how to build a system for child care providers to access information, assistance, and warm handoffs in one place. Likewise, enhancing peer support networks for child care providers is a focus of both Links to Quality and the Child Care Health Consultant network. Locally, organizations are using PDG Quality Subgrants to develop or expand their own custom solutions, e.g. child care provider cohorts, resource navigators, and local No-Wrong-Door approaches for families to ease navigation burdens. With the ingenuity of organizations throughout the early childhood care and education system, there are many opportunities to continue building and refining effective, localized solutions to ease navigation.
A significant bright spot for Kansas has been the creation of a statewide enterprise system for the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). This allows service providers to more easily access the ASQ screening tool, which is critical for ensuring children get connected to the right support services in the early stages of life. Emphasis is now on training providers to administer and use the ASQ, identifying appropriate referral workflow, and providing support for communities to strengthen referral partnerships.
Care Coordination is another bright spot for Kansas with two KDHE programs recently launched and starting to have impact. Bridges, which helps families transition smoothly from Part C to Part B programs, is partnering with Infant Toddler Services to help ensure families are aware of and participate in this service. The Pediatric Pilot is also a newly-launched program that connects a Care Coordinator with pediatric offices to offer a two-generation approach to referrals, improving the well-being of both mother and baby.