A statewide needs assessment was completed in 2010 by the Georgia Department of Public Health as required for the Georgia’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting application. Seventy-two of 159 counties were found to be at-risk. Muscogee County ranked 3rd highest in risk. The Great Start Georgia framework being implemented in seven Georgia Counties, including Muscogee County, provides a systematic method for identifying children and families in need of supports and referring them to services.
During the past three years, there has been collaborative work between Public Health and the Great Start Georgia services/program staff, as well as collaborative work with other community partners increasing knowledge of the services provided by each and the process for referring to the services of each.
There is a Community Service Board in Muscogee County, New Horizons Community Service Board, which provides services for young children and is a partner with Georgia Department of Public Health in the LAUNCH initiative. Community Service Boards like New Horizons exist as a network of public corporations providing 18 mental health, developmental disability, and substance abuse safety net services throughout Georgia.
“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.”