What is PA Project LAUNCH?
LAUNCH stands for Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health
A 5-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Implemented by OMHSAS Children’s Bureau, the Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with OCDEL
The main goals are to support young children’s healthy physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, to help strengthen families, and promote parent-child interactions that support healthy development.
Strategies are piloted in Allegheny County in collaboration with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services are targeting the school districts of Pittsburgh, Baldwin-Whitehall, and Woodland Hill communities.
Successes will be shared with all PA counties to support encourage statewide expansion.
Project LAUNCH’s Five Prevention and Promotion Strategies
Project LAUNCH is a PREVENTION and PROMOTION grant that focuses the systems that serve young children, from conception to age 8, and their families with the expectation of state partnerships and increased capacity within systems to provide evidence-based services around these strategies:
- Screening and assessment in a range of child-serving settings
- Integration of behavioral health into primary care settings
- Mental health consultation in early care and education
- Enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional well-being
- Family strengthening and parent skills training
Young Child Wellness Councils
There are two groups of stakeholders that are driving the implementation of PA Project LAUNCH, a State and Local Young Child Wellness Council (YCWC). Both councils are comprised of family members, leaders from early care and education, health, mental health and family support programs, who will work together toward comprehensive, systemic goals to meet the needs of children, parents, and providers. The Early Learning Council is now serving as the State YCWC for the remainder of the grant project. The state level strategies focus on policies, financial mechanisms, and other reforms to improve the integration and efficiency of the child-serving system. The Local YCWC focuses primarily on improving collaboration across the programs and services that serve children and families in Allegheny County as well as improving access to prevention services and wellness promotion activities.
PA Project LAUNCH Partnership Resources
Resource Guides: These guides include information, resources, personal experiences and lessons learned from PA Project LAUNCH Partnership, and are intended to serve as helpful guides for communities focused on improving the health and well-being of families and children from birth to age 8.
- Lessons Learned: Community Assessment (Coming Soon!)
- Lessons Learned: Strategic Planning (Coming Soon!)
- Lessons Learned: Cross-Sector Collaboration (Coming Soon!)
- Lessons Learned: Parent Engagement and Leadership (Coming Soon!)
- Lessons Learned: Screening & Assessment (Coming Soon!)
Additional Resources: The resources below were created or curated by the PA Project LAUNCH team and stakeholders to support additional communities in “linking actions for unmet children’s health”:
- Developmental Screening Using the ASQ-3™ and the ASQ:SE-2™: Tips and Strategies for Preparation, Communication, and Partnerships (PDF)
- Family Resource Ring – Allegheny County (PDF) – Update Coming Soon!
- Healthy in All Ways: So often when we think about “healthy” infants and children, we think about their physical health, how well are they growing and are they generally sick or well. The materials in this booklet focus on another and equally important characteristic of health referred to as children’s “social-emotional health.” Just as children grow and develop physically, they grow and develop in social skills and emotional skills. They learn to understand and control their emotions. They form relationships with family and friends. Parents, friends, caregivers and others play a key role in helping children grow into physically and mentally healthy adults. Read through the following pages to learn about how you can help young children become healthy in all ways.
- Protective Factors for Strengthening Families (PDF)
- Integrating an infant early childhood mental health lens into Mental Health First Aid Training
- December 17, 2019 LAUNCH & Learn Call Presentation on Family Strengthening (PDF)
PA Project LAUNCH Key Deliverables
Environmental Scan: A first step in the LAUNCH process was to conduct an environmental scan to identify current strengths and challenges/barriers to providing such services. The PA Project LAUNCH Partnership contracted with the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development to conduct this scan in consultation with the Commonwealth and Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the Allegheny County Health Department, and their consultants.
- 2015 Environmental Scan (PDF)
Strategic Plans: The use of a comprehensive strategic plan has enabled PA Project LAUNCH to build on and improve current services, as well as coordinate the many systems that serve young children in the local pilot community. The strategic plan has continued to inform the enhancement of the evaluation plan, ensured the evaluation addresses the extent to which progress has been made in (1) implementing the strategies outlined in the strategic plan and (2) achieving the intended outcomes of the project.
Annual Evaluation Reports: The Evaluation Reports general purpose is to describe the process of implementation and the outcomes of such activities as they pertain to the grant’s goal areas. The reports follow the framework of the Strategic Plan, updated bi-annually, and includes progress on the project’s objectives, activities, indicators/measurements, and short- and long-term process and outcome questions being addressed.
- 2014-2015 Evaluation Report (PDF)
- 2015-2016 Evaluation Report (PDF)
- 2016-2017 Evaluation Report (PDF)
- 2017-2018 Evaluation Report (Coming Soon!)