Executive Summary

Children between the ages of 0 to 3 years who come to the attention of U.S. child protection service agencies are at increased risk for developmental delays and impairments. Recognizing this vulnerable population’s needs, federal policies passed in 2003 and 2004 opened the doorway to a linkage between early intervention and child welfare services by requiring the referral of young children in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect to early intervention. However, several years after passage, research suggests that few eligible children receive required referrals to early intervention programs. The purpose of this national survey of administrators and other key stakeholders in early intervention and child welfare services was to identify promising practices in interagency collaboration to meet these mandates. Results show that many states are actively working to strengthen cross-systems collaboration through special staffing positions, training initiatives, and data systems and tracking solutions. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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