What it is:
Healthy Families Oregon and the Multnomah County Health Department are streamlining the new baby screening tool so new parents understand what help is available, and programs can better anticipate and meet service needs.
Why it’s important:
There are several challenges with current screening methods:
- Not all families feel safe, comfortable, or can be accommodated in a hospital setting.
- When families don’t feel comfortable, screening can be inaccurate and families can miss out on services.
- The number of families who qualify for home-visiting services often exceeds the available openings with Health Families.
- Families often need support other than home visiting.
- Many families could have benefitted from intensive supports before their child was born, but they did not know what was available.
How it works:
Multnomah County Health Department has been providing Welcome Baby screening to families with newborns for more than 13 years. Currently, families are screened in hospitals by a community health worker using the New Baby Questionnaire tool. Families who meet eligible criteria are then offered home visiting services.
The Multnomah County Health Department will expand services to:
- ensure families are connected with the resources that will best support their family to thrive.
- connect families with the full array of programs and services that the community has to offer.
- include culturally specific and trauma- informed approaches to screening in community settings where families already feel comfortable.
- engage families prenatally.
- follow up with families wanting to participate in groups and classes for support.