XENIA — Greene County Commissioners recently approved the submission of a grant agreement for funding to provide service coordination to children with delays and/or disabilities.
Greene County will receive $502,728, which will be allocated to Greene County Public Health to use.
“The purpose of the Service Coordination Grant is to provide service coordination to Greene County families with infants and toddlers ages birth through age 2 with developmental delays and/or disabilities in addition to conducting early intervention child find outreach activities with Greene County,” said GCPH Early Intervention Program Manager Pam Hamer.
Service coordinator activities include assisting families with finding and obtaining access to needed early intervention services, connecting families to local community resources, and helping them navigate through those referral procedures, coordinating and monitoring the delivery of early intervention services, and assisting families with transitioning to other community programs such as preschool or Head Start as the child reaches three years of age, Hamer said.
“Some examples of early interventions services include special instruction, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, vision and hearing services,” she said. “There are 17 in total. Keeping in mind early intervention services are provided through coaching parents and caregivers because research shows infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar contexts.”
Hamer said the grant benefits the community.
“The benefits to the community are that it helps build stronger families and children who are a successful contributor to the community at large and then have the capacity to give back and help others,” she said. “The mission of early intervention is that it assists families to enhance their child learning and development. Children are our future.”
Hamer said that research shows a child’s brain is most impacted by those experiences from pregnancy through age three and if children are learning, developing, and building the foundations of success early on, then communities will be stronger for it.
Greene County Family & Children First and GCPH both assist young children with disabilities.
“We help families help their children with developmental delays get as close to typically developing as possible and help those with disabilities learn to function within their environment at home, school, and in the community,” Hamer said. “All children are unique and develop at their own pace but there are general milestones that are helpful to understanding your child’s development.”
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534