Children 1st is a statewide, free, voluntary initiative coordinated by the Georgia Department of Public Health and your local Public Health Department. Any child (from birth – age 5) with developmental, social or medical needs can be referred to the program. A Public Health Nurse contacts the family and will make a home visit to help the family access local medical services and social supports. These services are designed to support families with young children, promote child health/development and positively influence school readiness.

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Success Story

Our Children 1st nurse was referred for a home visit to newborn “Claire,” who had failed her initial hearing screening. On observation, the nurse noted that Claire appeared to have Bell’s palsey, or partial facial paralysis. Part of her right eye squinted and her little mouth turned down. “Mom” stated that the hospital had performed chromosomal studies, but she had not yet heard back anything. She also admitted that she did not have a safe place for Claire to sleep, nor did she have a pediatrician or any family support to help her know what to do for her baby’s special needs. Our Children 1st nurse was able to supply a pack-n-play for safe sleep. She continued to manage Claire’s case. She helped Mom register her infant for Medicaid so that Claire could receive the healthcare she needed from a pediatrician for basic well care, a neurologist for her Bell’s palsy, and an audiologist for her hearing issues. Claire’s story is a wonderful example of how the Children 1st program serves as a single point of entry to connect children newborn to five with community services and other public health programs, including Children’s Medical Services, Babies Can’t Wait, and WIC (Women, Infants & Children nutrition program).