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Developmental Delay

Developmental Delay

Families that call 211 LA are overwhelmingly under-served and disadvantaged. Close to 80,000 families call 211 LA a year with the most-at risk children birth to 5 years of age at a critical time in the life of a child when early and effective intervention makes the most impact.

211 LA County primarily receives calls from families to meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, health insurance and safety. More than three-quarters of callers have monthly household incomes of less than $2,000.  Many families who call 211 are in danger of becoming or have recently become unemployed, homeless, or uninsured. 211 LA callers are disproportionately parents of young children. Twenty eight percent of 211 LA callers have pre-school aged children.

211 LA refused to sit on the sidelines and let families with young children miss out on a bright future by gaining access to 211 LA's early childhood and intervention services. Low-income, African-American and Latino children have been especially identified, in well documented research, to not receive needed services and support until they reach school age. This group tragically missed out on crucial federally and state funded early intervention services that are funded available until 36 months of age. 

Vulnerable, low income families often do not receive regular medical attention and are less likely than other famililes to have their children screened for developmental delays in a timely and effective manner. Most children of 211 LA callers have not had even one developmental screening with an evidence-based tool, much less the annual screenings that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for all infants and toddlers. In 2009, 211 LA launched an innovative cost-effective developmental screening and care coordination program model in a 211 service center with funds from the W.M. Keck, Weingart and the Robert Wood Foundations. 

This addressed the early identification and intervention disparities of developmental delays and disabilities of low-income African-American and Latino children. To date, 211 LA has screened over 12,000 children and provided care coordination support to over 7,000 children at risk for a delay/disability. Sixty percent of those children and families confirmed to have received the identified early childhood and intervention services. 

211LA and National percentages for children who were screened as high, moderate, or low risk.

at-risk children screened

Percentages of risk for developmental delays according to age.

at risk children age

Comparison of children who are at risk for developmental delays who received care coordination vs. those that did not receive care coordination.children who are at risk for developmental delays who received care coordination vs. those that did not receive care coordination.

Percentages of screened children who received developmental delay interventions vs. pending confirmation for intervention.

follow-up outcomes for children that received care coordination

Provider Testimonial

“As a pediatrician myself, I know how challenging it can be to fit in a validated screening tool along with everything else I have to do in a well-child visit. Even beyond the actual screening, all of the follow-up and care coordination is so valuable, and easy to fall through the cracks otherwise. This model has the potential to change the way we think about screening and care coordination. I would love to see it spread to other 211 call centers and other states.”  - Bergen Nelson, M.D.


Parent Testimonial

“One of the happiest days of my life was being granted full custody of my 2 year old son after being in foster care. The screening and the care coordination that we ended up doing through 211 LA, helped guide me on how I should be working with my son at home and how to pursue the needed intervention services for my son’s speech delays and behavior concerns. My son is now in regular kindergarten doing so well and I am learning to be patient and a better Dad”. - Anthony H., parent


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