Screening & Assessment

The Healthy Babies Healthy Children screening and assessment process is designed to ensure that all families that would benefit from the HBHC program are identified and referred to the appropriate community supports.

What is the screening and assessment process?

The screening and assessment process involves four steps:

  1. An initial screen, which will likely be done at the hospital at the time of birth or at the prenatal stage by physicians, midwives or nurses.
  2. A public health nurse (or an agency designated by public health) conducts a brief assessment on the families identified who may benefit from Healthy Babies Healthy Children.
  3. An early-identification process to identify families who may benefit from Healthy Babies Healthy Children with children up to age three.
  4. An in-depth, home assessment on the families identified who may benefit from Healthy Babies Healthy Children which will be conducted by a professional from the most appropriate service agency.

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How are hospitals & midwives involved?

  • The hospital setting was selected as the best point of contact for every family screening as 98% of all women deliver their babies in a hospital.
  • Hospital staff has always played an active role in referring and ensuring follow-up for families in need of services. HBHC adds to this process by providing a consistent and comprehensive "screening tool" to help in this process.
  • The “at birth screening tool” is used as the first step in identifying families who may benefit from involvement in Halton Healthy Babies Healthy Children. This tool is used Ontario wide.
  • Hospital staff plays an integral role in the screening process of postnatal families.
  • For mothers making home deliveries, midwives assist with the screening.
  • Families are referred to Halton Region for further assessments and linkages to supports and services.

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At what stage should a family be referred to HBHC?

  • The formal screening and assessment process is not the only means to enter the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program.
  • Service providers may at any time, refer expectant parents and young families with children to age three to Halton Healthy Babies Healthy Children.
  • The referral may be made to clarify risk, to link the family with appropriate services, or to determine whether family visitors would benefit the child and family.
  • Families with children up to age three can also self-identify, or a physician or other health or social service provider can refer them directly to the program.

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How can I refer someone to the HBHC program?

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What happens after I refer a patient/client to HBHC?

  • All families with identified needs will be linked to relevant community supports.
  • For families with complex needs or multiple risk factors, a formalized service coordination process will help by providing advocacy, support and information to guide families through the "system".
  • Families may also be offered support through the family visiting service.