Catholic Charities of Pueblo Involved in LAUNCH Together
Catholic Charities Diocese of Pueblo (CCDP) was part of LAUNCH Together, a five-year initiative supported through the collaboration of eight funding partners in Colorado.
This initiative was designed to improve social-emotional and developmental outcomes for Colorado’s young children and families, support system-level collaboration, and reduce mental health disparities among vulnerable populations.
“We were one of four communities that were awarded a $2-million implementation grant,” Lindsay Reeves, Director of Early Childhood Programs at Catholic Charities of Pueblo, said.
“This grant focused on improving social emotional and developmental outcomes for children, providing supports and resources for families and early childhood providers, while supporting systems level collaboration and also reducing mental health disparities among vulnerable populations.”
The initiative focused on five key strategy areas including Behavioral Health in Primary Care, Enhanced Home Visiting, Screening & Assessment, Mental Health Consultation in Early Care & Education, and Family Strengthening.
Behavioral Health in Primary Care
Working together, a family development specialist and HealthySteps specialist screened for trauma and resiliency during well-child and prenatal visits. If needed, appropriate referrals to further supports were made, including home visitation and family strengthening programs. These additional supports created a truly integrated care experience.
Enhanced Home Visiting
Home visitors with Catholic Charities met regularly with an early childhood mental health consultant for supervision and case consultation. The home visitor's received professional feedback and consultation reducing burnout. Home visitors and consultants were able to make direct referrals to Health Solutions for more intensive behavioral health services.
Screening & Assessment
A multi-agency Developmental Screening Workgroup created and provided technical assistance for a shared decision-making tool for community-based providers. Led by the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, this tool provided clear and reliable information about where and how to refer to services.
Mental Health Consultation in Early Care & Education
Health Solutions and Children’s First partnership resulted in a continuum of services for providers, including training, coaching, and mental health consultation. These expanded services led to 33% of all young children within the targeted community being reached with supports.
The Early Minds Matter website (earlymindsmatter.org) was created to provide trustworthy information to parents and caregivers about early childhood development. Bridges Out of Poverty was established at two local elementary schools to build skills and knowledge toward increased self-sufficiency for parents.
The work from LAUNCH to community transformation
“In year one of the initiative, 77% of our activities were either in the readiness or participation category," Reeves said. “By the end of year four we had 73% of all activities in the system change category so that contrast from year one to year for really shows how we moved this work into being truly embedded in the way that the early childhood system works in this community.”
The most significant impact of LAUNCH Together in Pueblo is the improvement in coordination of services for young children’s social-emotional development.
The Maternal and Child Health Action Plan being developed by PDPHE in 2021 will be supported by the Community’s system alignment and collaboration efforts.
Through strong relationships, Community partners are well-positioned to respond to future collaborative funding opportunities.
Based on lessons learned from responding to COVID-19, Community partners are committed to meeting families where they are and directing services to those most in need.
Building upon existing relationships, the Community is exploring ways that services can be delivered with even greater collaboration.
Partners will continue outreach to further engage schools and health care providers.
LAUNCH Together Pueblo County partners
Catholic Charities Diocese of Pueblo, Children First, Pueblo Child Advocacy Center, Health Solutions, Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, Pueblo County Department of Human Services, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center- Southern Colorado Family Medicine
Information received from the Community Learning Report: Pueblo County, Jan. 2021, Early Milestones Colorado.