Project LAUNCH Georgia Initiative
In September 2014, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) was awarded Project LAUNCH, Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health. This five-year federal initiative from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, aligns with DPH’s goals by helping to ensure the social, emotional, and behavioral health among children birth to age eight and to promote safe, supportive and nurturing families. Project LAUNCH Georgia is currently being piloted in Muscogee County and will allow for collaborative efforts among child serving agencies at the state and local level to increase screening, assessment and referrals to increase early identification of mental, behavioral and/or developmental concerns in young children.
Muscogee County is in Columbus, Georgia, which is known as Georgia's third-largest city and has a growing community of 250,000. The community was selected as the pilot site because it is among the top 25 identified as “at-risk” counties in Georgia’s 2010 Maternal Child Health Needs Assessment. Based on the needs of Muscogee County (Columbus, Georgia) and the goal of DPH to improve outcomes for children, Project LAUNCH provides Georgia the opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing health and developmental concerns that are critical to ensuring children have the most advantageous opportunities to succeed in school and life.
Mission, Vision and Values
Mission Statement: Georgia’s children, birth to age 8, will have increased access to screening, assessment and referrals to appropriate services to meet their social and emotional needs.
Vision Statement: To inspire, promote, and sustain positive outcomes and holistic wellness across every developmental domain for all Georgia’s children.
- Holistic Perspective – The goal is to work across disciplines and with those involved in the lives of young children to come to a shared understanding of healthy child development and young child wellness.
- Public Health Approach – As a public Health Initiative Project LAUNCH Georgia seeks to ensure that all children are equipped with the skills they need to achieve developmental milestones. Prevention and promotion activities are key aspects of a public health approach.
- Collaboration – Improve coordination and collaboration across the systems that serve young children and their families.
- Culturally Competent – For Project LAUNCH to effectively improve children’s well-being, resources and interventions need to be devoted not only to children themselves but also to their families, the settings that most directly impact them, and the larger systems (including policies) that contribute to the health of communities.
Five Prevention and Promotion Strategies
- Screening and assessment in a range of child-serving settings
- Integration of behavioral health into primary care settings
- Mental health consultation in early care and education
- Family strengthening and parent skills training
- Enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional well-being
Project LAUNCH Georgia is guided by Young Child Wellness Councils, at the state and local level, which engage key leaders in developing a common strategy and plan for improving outcomes for young children and their families. These councils join with families and public and private partners to scan communities and pinpoint unmet needs, then develop strategic plans that guide their use of five prevention and promotion strategies drawn from current research. In addition to providing direct services, Project LAUNCH Georgia will increase knowledge about healthy child development through public education campaigns and cross-disciplinary workforce development activities. Young Child Wellness Council participants.
Page last updates 10/03/16