Children at Risk for Developmental Delay and Behavioral Disorders

Georgia Family Physicians Guide to Public Health Programs for Children. The Georgia Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Section provides comprehensive screenings, treatment, coordination of services and linkages to community based resources for families with children with special needs and/or at risk of developmental delay or behavioral problems.

Children 1st is the single point of entry in to Child Health Programs for children birth – five years old. Early identification of, and intervention for, children with risk factors is a critical component of a child’s achievements across a lifetime.  However, fewer than half of all children with developmental delay or severe behavior problems are identified before they start school.

The mission of Children 1st is to identify children at risk for poor health and developmental delay.  Once a child is identified as being at risk and referred to Children 1st, they will receive a developmental screening and family assessment to better understand the child’s risk factors.  Children with sufficient biological, social, and/or emotional risk factors are linked to appropriate public health programs and community-based resources.

Click here to view the Children 1st website.


When should a child be referred to Children 1st?

Children who are not meeting developmental milestones or present in your office with other risk factors should be referred to Children 1st.

Submitting a Children 1st Referral:

The following methods can be used to submit a Children 1st

  1. Submit a Children 1st Screening and Referral form. Click here to download, complete and print the form. Using the Maternal and Child Health Locator, select the county in which the child currently resides; select the Children 1st program and click search for locations. Fax the completed Screening and Referral form to the local Children 1st District Coordinator.
  1. Contact a local public health Children 1st District Coordinator and make the referral by phone (See the Maternal and Child Health Locator).

Before Submitting the Children 1st Screening and Referral form please ensure:

  1. All information (name, address, telephone number etc.) for the child and their parent/caregiver is complete and accurate;
  1. Identified risk factors and ICD 10 diagnosis codes are marked on the referral form.

Note: If you have questions about appropriate development for infant and children up to age five (5), visit the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early.