Make child screenings a priority

The Oregon Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Early Childhood Screening Initiative is part of a National Screening Academy of 18 states focused on implementing policies and practices that integrate standardized tools into preventive health care practice. The primary focus of this initiative is to work with child health care providers to screen children ages birth through 5 for developmental delays and disabilities at well-child office visits.

The goals of the initiative include:

  • Early identification of children who are at risk for developmental, behavioral or social delays
  • Referral of children identified as at risk for developmental or behavioral delays, or developmental disabilities, to the Oregon Department of Education's Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Ed (EI/ECSE) program or other community-based services
  • Coordination of care between the primary care provider and community based services

As a child health care provider, you serve a key role in this initiative by taking time during well visits to look for and identify developmental delays or disabilities. If you identify a child who needs follow-up services, you can refer the child and his or her family to Oregon's EI/ECSE program, which provides specialized evaluation and services for eligible children.

We encourage you to complete the early intervention referral form. Your documentation of a child's specific issues can help streamline the referral and evaluation processes, as well as delivery of services to assist the child. With this form, you also can request to receive information back from EI/ECSE regarding the child's evaluation and progress.

The referral form also includes a dual consent authorizing the sharing of information under both Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. The primary goal of the dual consent is to enhance communication by allowing child health providers and EI/ECSE to share important information with one another, which helps ensure children and their families are getting needed care.

Additional resources are available at the Oregon Health Authority's ABCD Development Screening page.