Spotlight: Boyer CONNECT
Boyer and Mary’s Place Launch Early Intervention Initiative for Youth Facing Homelessness
Pilot Program Created to Enhance Access for Children with Disabilities and their Families.
Thanks to an innovative partnership between Boyer Children’s Clinic and Mary’s Place – and a generous grant from Premera Blue Cross – a new initiative has been launched that will benefit families who are homeless, build the capacity of Mary’s Place staff to support young children with special health care needs who enter their services, and establish a streamlined process of referral to early intervention providers.
When asked about this unique, intra-agency collaboration, Boyer Children’s Clinic’s Executive Director, Michael Stewart, said: “We are grateful and inspired by the extraordinary work done by Mary’s Place to provide safety and support to families facing homelessness, and we are very pleased to partner on this important initiative. Central to Boyer’s mission is a commitment to reducing barriers and ensuring that all families are able to access critical early intervention services. We know that age birth to three is the most influential time in a child’s brain development, and we are honored to help enhance access for children and families who are facing times of transition.”
Over the past year, staff at Boyer and Mary’s Place have worked to implement the following support projects and staff training opportunities. Key components of the program include:
- To design and implement an early intervention referral model that will reach families who are homeless in Seattle/King County;
- To provide coordinated collaborative and high-quality services for children age birth to three with developmental delays and their families;
- To provide a seamless transition from early intervention services to preschool services at age three;
- To assist and support Mary’s Place in designing environmental supports for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays;
- To assist and support Mary’s Place staff with strategies for managing behaviors common to children with ASD and other developmental delays;
- To assist families at Boyer Children’s Clinic who need services from Mary’s Place; and
- To connect children over age three to resources through their public school district.
Through this unique partnership Boyer and Mary’s Place will work to eliminate barriers to accessing early intervention services for children and families who are homeless, directly engage those families in early intervention services, and reduce health outcome disparities for children with special health care needs.