What is the purpose of the KIDOS project?
The KIDOS project will expand upon existing efforts and infrastructure in order to effectively coordinate, improve, and track developmental screenings and referrals for infants and toddlers ages 0 to 3 across a variety of early childhood support systems, including home visiting, early education settings, pediatrician offices and medical homes, early intervention services, and child care programs. The intent of the project is to improve and expand the child find developmental screening systems already occurring at the local and state level, not merely to increase the number of screenings being performed.
How is this project funded?
The KIDOS project is funded by a federal Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant awarded in July 2013. A diverse group of state early childhood leaders made the determination to submit a project proposal for coordinating the expansion of developmental screening activities. The KIDOS project is overseen by a pediatrician-chaired Work Group comprised of medical, early intervention, and early childhood representatives from both the state and local level.
What are the benefits to local communities participating in the project?
Communities that participate in the KIDOS project may realize the following benefits.
- Improved coordination of community systems regarding developmental screenings, referrals, and access to services for families with young children.
- Increased number of children birth to three who are screened using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3TM) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE) to ensure young children are developmentally on track and to aid with early identification of concerns and referral to community services.
- Improved access to high quality training on the appropriate use of the ASQ-3TM and ASQ:SE for early childhood, home visiting, medical professionals and other community partners.
Does this project involve pilot sites?
The KIDOS project will be piloted in several communities in order to gauge the effectiveness of the tools and resources developed through the project. Federal guidance encourages the KIDOS project to align efforts with other federal projects related to early childhood systems in Kansas. The KIDOS project will be piloted in communities that have already initiated conversations around early identification and referral and implemented strategies for improvement. Other Kansas communities seeking to improve their systems of early identification and referral will benefit from the lessons learned from the pilot communities.
Many programs throughout the state already perform developmental screenings and have effective child find and referral systems in place. How does this project coordinate with current efforts?
Members of the KIDOS Work Group recognize that many programs and providers are already committed to performing developmental screening and commend the work of these community partners. The KIDOS project encourages communities to examine the broader early identification, child find, and referral system and consider opportunities to strengthen the system. By assessing their current early identification and referral system, even those communities with effective systems in place may identify opportunities to improve their infrastructure.
- The KIDOS project will provide communities with tools to help them take a closer look at the current status of their child find efforts, identify areas of improvement, and determine steps to reach the desired outcomes. A community toolkit of resources, tools, and recommendations has been developed. Entitled Coordinating Developmental Screenings in Early Childhood Systems and Medical Homes: A Toolkit for Communities, the toolkit will guide community partners through the process of enhancing developmental screening child find and referral systems.
- Communities participating in the KIDOS project will be supported in selecting their own priorities. Depending on the status of current efforts, community priorities may include universal use of the ASQ screening instruments across screening sites, improving information sharing and referral coordination between early childhood and medical service providers, adoption of screening tools in all pediatric health care settings, or all providers and programs participating in the online ASQ screening system.
How will a statewide developmental screening initiative affect the number of referrals to Infant-Toddler Services and other services such as health care and mental health providers?
The statewide developmental screening initiative may impact the number of children referred to Infant-Toddler Services: tiny-k, health care providers, mental health providers, and other community services. Many local Infant-Toddler Services: tiny-k programs and other community service providers already experience a strain on their capacity. As part of a community needs assessment, access to appropriate services may be examined and subsequently selected by the community as a priority area for improvement.
The KIDOS project is coordinating the development of systems for data collection resulting in a comprehensive set of data to inform local and state decisions. For example, if the increased number of children screened through KIDOS is shown to lead to an increase in referrals to Infant-Toddler Services: tiny-k, communities could use the data to demonstrate the need for increased funding for Infant-Toddler Services: tiny-k.
In some instances, children receive duplicate screenings. Will the efforts of the KIDOS project to increase screenings exacerbate this problem?
In some cases, children are screened multiple times by different professionals during the same age interval. These duplicated screenings can be frustrating both to the families and the professionals involved. The intent of the KIDOS project is to develop effective, efficient early identification and referral systems that meet the needs of both families and programs. If a community identifies duplicate screenings as a concern, the KIDOS technical assistance staff can help the community develop creative solutions, such as data sharing agreements.
For more information, contact the KIDOS Project Coordinator, Jessica Looze