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Policy Clearinghouse

Comprehensive Screening and Connection Programs

SUMMARY

Comprehensive screening and connection programs are an effective state strategy to impact:

Comprehensive screening and connection programs (CSCPs) are an effective strategy to increase families’ knowledge and use of community resources and lead to better child health and development outcomes, such as higher vaccination rates and reduced emergency department use. Limited evidence suggests participation in comprehensive screening and connection programs also contributes to increased participation in higher quality child care. Evidence-based CSCPs have been rigorously studied as local interventions, and the current evidence base does not provide clear guidance for states on the most effective way to support and implement programs statewide.

Comprehensive screening and connection programs (CSCPs) assess children and parents for a range of factors that contribute to long-term child and family wellbeing, including physical development, behavioral issues, parental physical and mental health, and social predictors of health. Based on identified needs, families are referred to necessary services and supports to address risk factors early on. Programs provide coordinated care and follow up with families to ensure linkage and use of support services. Universal screening programs are intended to be available to all families in a community. Three rigorously studied evidence-based programs, DULCE, Family Connects, and HealthySteps, are included in this review. States can support the implementation of and access to CSCPs by enacting legislation to provide programs statewide (e.g., mandating Medicaid and/or private insurance coverage), by providing financial support to programs, or by implementing a home-grown program similar in design to one of the three evidence-based programs. The evidence base does not currently provide clear guidance for states on the most effective way to implement CSCPs at a statewide level.


Download the Complete Evidence Review

Comprehensive Screening and Connection Programs Evidence Review (PDF)

Recommended Citation:
Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center. (2023). Prenatal-to-3 policy clearinghouse evidence review: Comprehensive screening and connection programs (ER 06B.0923). Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University. https://pn3policy.org/policy-clearinghouse/comprehensive-screening-and-connection-programs

Updated September 2023

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