Families will be eligible for EIPP if they have at least one of the following characteristics:
- Maternal age <=20, with at least two children including the current pregnancy or infant, or <=22 with at least three children including the current pregnancy or infant;
- Violence in the home;
- Substance abuse in the home;
- Pregnant women who have a previous poor birth outcome (stillbirth or neonatal death, a baby weighing less than 1500 grams);
- Pregnant women who are beginning their prenatal care in the third trimester;
- Postpartum women who had inadequate or no prenatal care (based on the Kotelchuck Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index);
- Hepatitis B positive
Or at least two of the following characteristics:
- Homelessness or housing instability;
- Inadequate food or clothing;
- Tobacco use;
- History of depression including postpartum depression;
- High level of stress; and/or
- Current High-Risk Pregnancy
In addition, infants and children up to one year of age who are referred to Early Intervention but deemed ineligible can receive follow-up and/or periodic screenings if appropriate. Families may participate in EIPP until the child is 12 months of age.
How does a family get referred in EIPP?
Families may be referred to EIPP in a variety of ways, including through FIRSTLink, prenatal, pediatric, and other health care providers, hospitals, WIC, community health nurses, human service agencies, other MDPH programs, other community-based organizations, and self-referral.
What happens when a family is determined to be eligible for EIPP?
Using a multidisciplinary MCH team, EIPP provides maternal and infant health assessment and monitoring; health education and guidance; screening and appropriate referrals for preterm labor, maternal depression, substance and tobacco use, and domestic violence; assistance with breastfeeding; parenting skills; and linkage with WIC and other resources.
The nurse is the primary caregiver in the MCH team. It is her/his responsibility to assess the child and family needs and strengths related to overall health and well-being using the Comprehensive Health Assessment (CHA). Based on this assessment, the nurse and parents formulate the family care plan (FCP) to facilitate services related to utilizing health systems, breastfeeding, nutrition, physical activity and promotion of a safe and healthy environment. FCPs clearly define the family's goals, and service content, frequency, and duration, and the responsibilities of the MCH team and the family in working toward meeting the goals.
In coordination with the nurse, a mental health clinician is available to provide assessment, brief intervention and referral for issues related to mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence at the minimum. The role of the mental health clinician is not that of an on-going counselor, but instead supports the families to identify needs and access services.
In addition, a Community Health Worker (CHW) seeks to support the family in accessing services and broader community resources. The CHW is an individual who is a member of the community being served. He/she provides a friendly avenue for the families to connect with other parents and support services by organizing workshops, trainings and support groups, and helping a family learn to advocate for themselves in the health and social system.
Since the EIPP provides individualized services to families, the frequency of visits depends on the needs of the family.
This information is provided by the Early Interventions Partnerships Program within the Department of Public Health.