Developmental Screening and Children Involved in Colorado's Child Welfare System - CAPTA and Beyond

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 has shown that toxic stress, including abuse and/or neglect that occurs when a child is young, can have negative impacts on brain/cognitive development, attachment, and academic achievement. While a young child's development may be more susceptible to toxic stress, early intervention during this critical period can be most effective in mitigating the detrimental effects of that stress. It is known that the provision of early services and intervention to support the healthy development of young children can have positive effects that last throughout childhood and into adulthood (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010).
Developmental screening can be an effective way to identify developmental concerns early in a child’s life and connect the child and family to services.

The Developmental Screening Educational Tool was developed to:

  • Acknowledge the misalignment of the child welfare requirements related to referrals for developmental screening and the services available to children ages three through four;
  • Provide guidance to communities throughout Colorado on fulfilling the requirements of federal law and state statute regarding developmental screening for children under age five;
  • Affirm and clarify the developmental screening roles and responsibilities of child welfare caseworkers, early intervention service personnel, parents, Special Education Administrative Unit personnel, entities that conduct developmental screening, and other community stakeholders; and
  • Provide a tool for further conversation in local communities to ensure collaborative screening and services for children under age five.