Healthy Children

The Healthy Children goal is to promote the overall physical, social, emotional and intellectual health of young children. Knowing that children learn best when they are healthy, First 5 Orange County invests in early developmental screenings, dental health prevention and treatment, health access, specialty care programs, and recently vision screening. More than $16.7 million was allocated to health programs for young children and families in Fiscal Year 2017/18. An additional $4.7 million in catalytic expenditures were made in the Healthy Children goal area.

Healthy Children Programs:

  • 2-1-1 Orange County – Supports access to health services by maintaining an up-to-date database with information on thousands of programs, referring callers to organizations qualified to address their specific need for health and human services including food, shelter, transportation, prenatal care, substance abuse, child development and elder care.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 4 – Provides evidence-based recommendations for child health to pediatricians, parents, professionals and public policy makers.
  • Integrative Health Project, OneOC – OneOC serves as the fiscal and administrative agent for the Health Funders Partnership of Orange County which is an Initiative established to improve health outcome for the underserved through an integrative approach to medicine.
    • Live Healthy OC— Empowering a Community of Wellness seeks to shift the focus of community health centers from disease treatment to disease prevention and wellness. First 5 Orange County funding is allocated to support implementation of integrative medicine practices for clinics that provide services to children ages 0-5 under the Initiative.
  • Community Health Initiative of Orange County (CHI OC) – The program links children and families to health insurance and a health care home by screening them for health care and social services programs, determining their eligibility and assisting them with the enrollment process.
  • Serving Kids Hope – A community based program for children and their families with an emphasis on nutrition, education, fitness support and promoting health lifestyle choices. Also provides early diagnosis and treatment of children with obesity and related health issues.
  • Pritzker Foundation Fellows Program – First 5 Orange County was awarded $150,000 to support the creation of a two-year Pritzker Fellow position to be a dedicated leader for birth to three initiatives countywide. The Pritzker Fellows program is part of the National Collaborative for Infants and Children, which is funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative. In Orange County, the program aims to incorporate perinatal and maternal mental health screenings and facilitate access to services and treatment into First 5 Orange County-funded and other countywide programs.
  • Children’s Dental Initiative – The Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI) represents a critical mechanism to improve dental health for children in Medi-Cal by focusing on preventive care, improved access, and utilization of performance measures to drive delivery system reform. The goal of the DTI is to improve the Denti-Cal system and its outcomes for children by promoting increased use of preventive dental services and continuity of care. 
    • Partners:
      • Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County
      • Coalition of Orange County Health Centers
      • Central City Community Health Center, Inc.
      • Families Together of Orange County
      • Serve the People Inc., dba Serve the People Community Health Center
      • University of Pacific Arther A. Dugoni School of Dentistry – Dr. Paul Glassman, DDS
      • Vista Community Clinic; VCC: The Gary Center
  • Pediatric Dental Collaborative – Improve the oral health of children ages 0-5 in Orange County through collaborative programs directed at prevention of decay in primary teeth in children through age 5 by conducting screenings, sealants, and fluoride treatments, parent/caregiver education, and improving access to treatment services and advocacy.
  • School Readiness Nursing Initiative – Expand access to health care for children prenatal through age 5 served within district boundaries, including special populations, such as teen moms and homeless families with children prenatal through age 5; local early care and education providers; and children transitioning to all elementary schools, including private religious and private schools.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health and Wellness Program – created by the eight-member Early Childhood Mental Health Collaborative to bring much needed mental health coaching, resources and support to early care and education teachers throughout Orange County.
  • CHOC/ UCI Neurodevelopmental Early Developmental Programs – Provide services and care for the children and families of Orange County. The Early Developmental Program consists of four programs linked by knowledge of child development, dedication to excellence, commitment to children and families, and broad expertise and services, which makes it an integral part of Orange County. 
    • The original three programs, started in 2001, are the CHOC/UCI Initiative for the Development of Attention Readiness (helping families & teachers manage difficult behaviors), Early Developmental Assessment Center (providing evaluation and care coordination for high risk infants), and For OC Kids (dedicated to the early diagnosis and treatment of autism, ADHD and other developmental disorders).
    • The last program, founded in 2005, is Help Me Grow (connecting children and families to developmental services). These Early Developmental Programs provide essential Early Developmental Program Services that are amongst the most necessary and directed to the neediest.
    • Partners:
      • Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s)
      • University of California, Irvine (UCI)
      • Child Behavior Pathways
      • Help Me Grow

Bridges Maternal Child Health Network

The Bridges Maternal Child Health Network is a multi-disciplinary system of providers that collaborate throughout Orange County to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women and young children. Bridges Network services provide a continuum of prenatal, infant, toddler and specialized public health nursing home visitation services to enhance maternal child health in Orange County. Programs in the Bridges Network include:

  • Early Outreach and Referral – Partners participate in the Maternal Health Network’s Early Outreach and Referral program by providing the following services:
    • Provide and explain the Kit for New Parents to pregnant women with information that supports a healthy pregnancy and about Maternal Child Health Network services
    • Screen all mothers and newborns with identified risk
    • Refer families to appropriate service providers as needed;
    • Collect demographic and other information on families of newborns for First 5 Orange County’s evaluation
    • Partners include:
      • Anaheim Regional Medical Center
      • Anaheim Global Medical Center
      • Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center
      • Garden Grove Hospital & Medical Center
      • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
      • Mission Hospital Memorial Medical Center
      • Orange County Global Medical Center
      • St. Joseph Hospital
      • St. Jude Medical Center
      • South Coast Global Medical Center
  • Infant and Toddler Home Visitation – Provide family support and case management services for families with children aged birth through five years as part of the Bridges Maternal Child Health Network Program and Neighborhood Resource Network Program. Services include:
    • Child and family assessments
    • In-home visitation
    • Parenting education
    • Health insurance enrollment
    • Referrals and follow up to other programs and services as needed
    • Health and safety education
    • Linkage to healthcare home
    • Triple P parenting classes offered in high-substantiated abuse zip codes
    • Partners include:
      • Children’s Bureau of Southern California
      • Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center
  • Orange County Health Care Agency Public Health Program – The four pillars of the program are:
    • Perinatal Substance Abuse Program – Identify and serve pregnant women and their families that are affected by substance abuse and/or HIV infection. Home visiting Public Health Nurses provide health and psychosocial assessments and case management services to clients throughout their pregnancies through 6 to 12 months after delivery to decrease pre and post-natal exposure to alcohol, drugs, and/or the HIV virus, and stabilize the home environment.
    • Medically High-Risk Infants Program – Provide family support and case management services by Public Health Nurses for families with medically high-risk children aged birth to three years in low-income communities throughout Orange County.
    • Nurse Family Partnership Program – Provide intensive home visitation according to the model developed by David Old, Ph.D.  The home visits are provided by Public Health Nurses to first-time teen/young mothers during their pregnancy and for two years after their child is born.
    • Special Population Collaborative Projects – Address local issues and serves young families by increasing outreach to isolated families through the use of culturally competent Public Health Nurses in low income communities. Link families with services needed to support the family and promote health using a systemic approach. Prioritized referrals are pregnant teens, high-risk prenatally low-income clients, and children in foster care, children of motel families, and children from families with non-substantiated child abuse calls who may benefit from Public Health Nurse services.