Hospitals and clinics with multidisciplinary teams that conduct historical interviews and physical examinations of children to determine whether there are injuries or other forms of physical evidence that are consistent with neglect, emotional deprivation/failure to thrive, or physical or sexual abuse that constitute the battered child syndrome. Historical information supplied by the child in the medical interview may be used to establish a case for child abuse even in the absence of physical evidence.
Programs that provide a comprehensive, structured evaluation of a child's cognitive/intellectual functioning, language and communication skills, independent living skills, social and emotional development and perceptual/motor functioning in order to identify individuals who show developmental delays, determine the nature and extent of the problem and recommend a course of treatment and care. Developmental assessments are generally offered by a developmental assessment specialist, or a team of professionals that can include a pediatrician, language specialist, audiologist, occupational therapist, child psychologist and child psychiatrist, among others. They involve age-adjusted questions regarding a child's growth, physical movements, behaviour, play, and interactions with family members and the rest of the world as well as a series of tests that may include a physical exam, hearing and eye screenings, play observation, and standardized tests that present the child with specific tasks to determine areas of strength and weakness. Developmental assessments are occasionally done for adults. They can also be used to identify individuals who have developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism and neurological impairments, in order to develop a plan for remediation and care.
Programs that offer health screening services for neonates which are designed to prevent physical problems, intellectual disabilities and premature death through the early detection and treatment of genetic disorders which may not otherwise be detected until irreversible damage has occurred. Newborn screening is routinely offered for phenylketonuria (PKU) and congenital hypothyroidism, and in some areas, for galactosemia, maple syrup urine disease, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, biotinadase deficiency and a growing number of other metabolic, endocrine and hemoglobin disorders. A drop of blood is taken from each infant's heel prior to discharge and sent to a laboratory for analysis. A repeat specimen is recommended one to two weeks after birth if the original sample was taken within the first 24 hours of life. Newborn hearing screening is also available in some areas.
Programs that provide health screening and immunization services for infants and toddlers to ensure their physical well-being and healthy development. Preschool aged children are also eligible in some areas.
Programs for new parents that allow them to drop in without an appointment, chat with other families, have their babies weighed and meet with a public health nurse about breastfeeding or other concerns they may have.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.