What you do will make a big difference on how your baby will grow and develop. You want to be a good parent and Healthy Start can help.
Healthy Start is a program that offers screening of pregnant women and newborn babies, and help to find services you may need to have a healthy baby. It is open to all pregnant women, children under one year of age, and their families. It is available throughout the state.
HEALTHY START INFANT (POSTNATAL) RISK SCREENING
After your baby is born, you should be asked to give permission for a Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening.
The purpose of the screening is to find out whether there is anything about your pregnancy or delivery and your baby's health at birth that could affect your baby's first year of lift. If you are not asked about the screening, ask your health care provider to tell you about it.
If you agree, the information on your baby's birth certificate will be used to answer the questions on the Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening. All you have to do is give your permission.
The items on the birth certificate that will be reviewed include: your baby's birth weight; whether your baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit; your race and marital status; when you started getting prenatal care; and any use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco during pregnancy. The answers to these questions are strictly confidential. They will only be used to help provide you and your baby the best possible care.
The Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening is scored. Points are given to those items that can cause problems with your baby's health and development. Based on the score and discussions with your health care provider, you can decide whether you or your baby want extra help. The program is voluntary. You will not keep your baby from receiving other services for which he or she is eligible if you decide not to participate.
HEALTHY START SERVICES
If you say yes, a Healthy Start Care Coordinator will contact you. She will explain the results of the screening and answer any questions you have about your baby's score. She will talk with you about any special needs you or your baby may have and help you find services in your neighborhood. She will give you the name and telephone number of a person you can call if you have any questions or need help in the future. This process is called care coordination.
If you or your baby need special services, the Healthy Start Care Coordinator will help you find them. The services that are available in each community will vary. They may include resource parent programs; breastfeeding support groups; child development programs; parenting classes; and child care. These services are called Healthy Start services.
ELIGIBILITY AND COST
If you live in Florida and are pregnant or have a baby under one year of age you can participate in Healthy Start. Your income level and immigration status do not matter. There is no cost to you for the Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening or care coordination services. The cost of Healthy Start service will vary but many are free or low cost.
Florida cares about its children. Interested people around the state are working to help pregnant women, babies, and their families find the services they need. Healthy Start Coalitions bring together local leaders, public and private medical providers, social service agencies, schools, businesses, churches, parents, and other concerned people. You can get involved in your community by joining your local coalition.
You want your baby to grow up strong and healthy. Let Healthy Start help.
If you have any questions or want more information about Healthy Start, talk with your health care provider or call your local Healthy Start Care Coordinator or your local Health Start Coalition or The Healthy Baby Hotline: 1-800-451-BABY. The hotline is confidential and calls are free. Counselors can answer questions about prenatal care, infant health care, family planning, and drug and alcohol use. Calls are answered from 8:00 in the morning until 12:00 midnight. Counselors speak English, Spanish or Creole.
If your child has special needs that are not being met or you are worried that your baby is not getting a good start in life, call the Florida Directory of Early Childhood Services: 1-800-654-4440. Calls are answered in English by resource specialists from 8:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening and weekends.