By age five a child's brain is 90% fully developed.
By age five a child's brain is 90% fully developed.
According to the Common Wealth Fund, developmental delays and conditions are common in early childhood, affecting at least 10 percent of children. Early treatment of delays and sensory difficulties (i.e. vision and hearing problems) is critical.
Last year, SBCS coordinated more than 4,000 Developmental, Vision, and Hearing Screenings for children in the community.
Childhood is the foundation upon which life is built. We believe, the healthier that foundation, the greater the possibility of success and happiness in adulthood. South Bay Community Services’ Child Well Being Department is dedicated to ensuring that our community’s children are provided the services they need to give them the best chance at leading a healthy and happy life.
Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool
Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool, a preschool for children affected by family violence, is a program of South Bay Community Services (SBCS) and the only school of its kind in Southern California. The school provides specialized services for three to five-year-olds and their families, including developmental and behavioral screenings, parenting groups, and unique curriculums designed to support the specialized needs of the students.
The preschool is free, full-day, and bilingual and provides counseling, parenting support, and teacher/caregiver training. With a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 9, the Mi Escuelita staff is specially trained and able to provide specialized care with a range of age-appropriate therapeutic, developmental, and educational activities in a safe, healthy environment.
Children are referred to Mi Escuelita by various agencies such as local law enforcement, Child Welfare Services, and SBCS‚ emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. Mi Escuelita is funded in part by First 5 San Diego, local housing developers Jim and Nancy Baldwin of Otay Ranch Company, Wells Fargo Foundation, RGK Foundation, Parker Foundation, Boys and Girls Foundation, AT&T, Sempra Energy Foundation, private donations from community members, and funds raised through SBCS‚ Annual Change Their Lives Event.
Mi Escuelita‚ square footage has capacity for 90 children, but current funding only allows for 72 children.
Healthy Development Services
Funded in part by First 5 San Diego and Free for ALL children – Healthy Development Services is designed to help families confirm important milestones and ensure their little one is growing, developing and on the right path for school.
If developmental delays are identified, children can be directed to other services to assist in areas of concern. Parent support and coaching are also available. Healthy Development Services offers a collection of services to set children in the right path for school success.
SafeCare is an in-home visitation curriculum that focuses on parents who have children ages birth to 12 years and are at-risk of or have been reported for child maltreatment. Trained staff work with families in their home environment by providing four to six months of intensive parenting training focusing on parent-child interaction, improving their home safety and child health issues. SafeCare is funded by the United Way of San Diego and the County of San Diego. In partnership with San Diego County Child Welfare Services and subcontractor agency Social Advocates for Youth San Diego, SafeCare is provided throughout San Diego County to families participating in the Community Services for Families program. Staff from SBCS and Social Advocates for Youth San Diego provide county-wide training and on-going coaching in the SafeCare curriculum to contracted Community Services for Families agency staff.
Community Services for Families (CSF)
Community Services for Families provides services to families either involved with Child Welfare Services (CWS) or are at-risk of CWS involvement due to child abuse and/or neglect. CSF offers home visitation, in-home parenting and support, and parenting classes. Through CSF, Parent Partners (parents who themselves have successfully navigated CWS) provide in-home support to families as well. CSF is funded in part by the County of San Diego.
Families as Partners (FAP)
Families as Partners is based on the belief that child safety is a community responsibility and that, when supported, families can make well-informed decisions about keeping their children safe. FAP is an innovative approach to child welfare and is designed to keep children and families together whenever possible. SBCS, in partnership with South Region Child Welfare Services, provides clinical assessments with families who have come to the attention of Child Welfare Services for issues surrounding domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health. Based upon the clinical assessments, SBCS provides recommendations to Child Welfare Services regarding services and support for the family. SBCS also links families with Parent Partners, parents who themselves successfully navigated Child Welfare Services, for supportive services. FAP is funded by the County of San Diego.
Children’s Mental Health Services provides school and community based services to children, teens, and their families.
First 5 First Steps (First Steps) strengthens child and family relationships by providing support, education, and guidance through home visits to expectant parents and parents of newborns.
First Steps utilizes evidence-based programs that help promote positive parent-child interactions and build family self sufficiency. The Healthy Families America model and the Parents As Teachers education curriculum have demonstrated positive outcomes for families. These include decreased child neglect and maltreatment, improved parent-child interaction, and increased well-child visit attendance and immunization rates.
First Steps works with established home visiting programs in San Diego to build a safety net of support for families. We believe the strength of our partnerships can address gaps in available services created by eligibility limitations and capacity issues. First Steps will enroll families at any point during their pregnancy and regardless of the number of children in the family. The program will accept referrals prenatally and within 2 weeks postpartum.