What is HealthySteps?
HealthySteps is a unique, proven pediatric primary care program committed to healthy early child development and effective parenting. A child development professional, known as a HealthySteps Specialist, connects with families during pediatric well visits as part of the primary care team. The HealthySteps Specialist offers screening and support for common and complex parenting challenges like feeding, attachment, behavior, sleep, parental depression, and adapting to life with a baby or young child. Specialists are trained to provide guidance, referrals, care coordination, and even home visits for families who need them.
At 21 years young, the HealthySteps National Network spans 119 pediatric practices in 15 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, and serves over 26,000 children a year. In 2015, ZERO TO THREE—a national non-profit with deep early childhood expertise—acquired HealthySteps to scale its impact. Unprecedented growth investment from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and Blue Meridian Partners is helping make this a reality.
What you can expect
- a comprehensive health promotion, prevention, and wellness experience for all families from the birth of their baby to at least 3 years old
- interdisciplinary team-based care with HealthySteps Specialists working alongside doctors and staff
- sensitive, evidence-based screening for developmental, behavioral, emotional, and social determinants of health in line with Bright Futures and the Strengthening Families Framework
- tailored age-appropriate (aka “anticipatory”) guidance, resources, and referrals
- a focus on strengths, culturally attuned visits, and child language and literacy development
- a relationship-based approach to caregiver-child bonding and care coordination that ensures families are satisfied, recieve continuous care, and access the services they need
Achievable goals of the HealthySteps model include:
- optimized early child development and child and family health
- universal early identification of and intervention for developmental delays
- improved parent-child interactions and parent comfort addressing challenging behaviors
- reductions in harsh and severe discipline and ER visits for injuriesv
- improved parent and physician satisfaction
- high family attendance and vaccination rates
- support for parental depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, food, housing, and other social determinants of health
Why HealthySteps matters
(courtesy of our friends at the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative).