Early childhood care expands
$4 million grant funds services for children up to 8 years old
August 12, 2014
“The early years of a child’s life are the most important.  It’s when we as a community can collectively put the care needed to ensure their bright future.  Over the past three years, I’ve seen the Department of Public Health and Social Services and its employees reaching out to even more needy children and their families.  They’re making social services more accessible and more effective.  This new program, which expands an existing and critical service to even more children, is just one example of your government’s commitment to our children and their future.”  – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
Expanding services ensures all children with disabilities will get care               
The Calvo Tenorio administration is expanding services for children who have a social, emotional, or behavioral disability.  Right now, parents with kids up to 5 years old who suspect their child has a disability can go to Public Health’s Project Kariñu for a screening.  We just were approved for a $4 million grant to care for children up to eight years old.  This new program fills the gap that existed.
Underserved, low-income families will be focus of program                                 
Project LAUNCH will focus on treating children and families at the Northern Area Community Health Center in Dededo.  This means when a child goes to a community health center, a doctor or nurse can recommend a social, emotional, or behavioral screening during the visit.  This will allow for treatment and therapy options to begin quickly.
Project Kariñu provides a similar service, but their clients are found either through community outreach or a referral.
Team members in DPHSS say by directing these services to this primary care facility, the government will be able to help more underserved and/or low-income families, and foster children get the care they need.  There are plans to expand Project LAUNCH to the Southern Area Community Health Center in Inarajan.
New initiative expands services from already successful program                                   
The grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services. The new initiative, called “Project LAUNCH,” is the perfect partner to the successful Project Kariñu.  This existing program has been working with families and children at risk for mental health disorders for children newborn to 5 years of age.
Initiative will use ‘system of care’ model to help families                                       
The program will use the “medical home” approach to service these children.  This approach is similar to the system of care model, which Governor Calvo supports through programs like I Famagu’on-ta.  This means all services will be done with the family’s voice in mind, and in a culturally competent manner that overcomes language barriers.
For more information please contact the Project LAUNCH and Project Kariñu office at 478-5400/ 5401/ 5414.

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