Tools and Resourcesto get you started on developing a process for screening, counseling, and referring, including assessing your office environment, creating a family centered screening process, and understanding your community resources.
Getting Started Worksheet
The following worksheet has been created as a guide to help you in developing a screening process workflow for your practice. For the purposes of this worksheet, a screening process is defined as the method of early identification and intervention for potential risks to a child’s development through ongoing surveillance, routine screening per AAP guidelines, family-centered discussion of results, interpretation, and—when concerns are identified—referral and follow-up.
Referral Resource Directory
Completing this worksheet will help you identify local resources and supports in your community.
Successful Strategies and Model Screening Processes
View videos to hear from practices across the country about how screening for developmental concerns, maternal depression, and social determinants of health has benefitted them and the families they serve.
Key Terms and Definitions
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Exposure during the first 18 years of life to abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual), neglect (physical or emotional), and/or household challenges (mother treated violently, household substance abuse, mental illness in household, parental separation or divorce, incarceration of a household member). Exposure to ACEs can negatively impact the trajectory of a child’s health outcomes, behaviors, and life potential.
Developmental milestones: The average ages when children develop new skills or abilities, related to moving, speaking, learning, socializing, and caring for themselves.
Follow-up: Action taken to ensure that a patient/family has completed the course of action recommended by a referral, such as making appointments or receiving further testing, and to obtain and document the outcomes of the referral.
Maternal (Perinatal) depression: The spectrum of depressive symptoms occurring in a mother during pregnancy and within the first year after childbirth, including the following:
- Prenatal depression: Depressive episodes beginning during pregnancy and persisting up to a year postpartum.
- Postpartum depression: Depressive symptoms occurring in a mother within the first year after childbirth and persisting beyond the first 2 weeks after delivery.
- Postpartum psychosis: A serious disorder with rapidly developing depressive and psychotic symptoms, typically presenting within the first month after delivery.
Protective factors: Biological, psychological, or community characteristics that reduce the negative impact of an adverse experience.
Referral: A recommendation for additional evaluation, treatment, or other services given to a patient/family.
Resilience: The ability to regulate emotions and adapt to stress-inducing situations, thereby reducing the likelihood of a negative impact.
Screening: The use of a standardized tool to identify risk and determine the need for further evaluation.
Social determinants of health: The social and environmental factors that impact health outcomes. This project focuses on exposure to toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, and poverty.
Surveillance: A longitudinal, continuous process based on clinical judgement that includes eliciting and attending to concerns, maintaining a history of findings, making observations, and identifying risk and protective factors.
Toxic Stress: Prolonged exposure to adverse experiences that activate the stress response system, potentially disrupting a child’s development and increasing the risk of poor health outcomes into adulthood
American Academy of Pediatrics