Screening Programs in Minnesota - Developmental and social-emotional screening of young children (0-5 years of age) in Minnesota

Developmental and social-emotional screening of young children (0-5 years of age) in Minnesota

Screening Programs in Minnesota

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Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC)

MDH C&TC website

DHS Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) Provider Manual, C&TC Section
C&TC is Minnesota's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program. EPSDT, a federal program, provides for the coverage of comprehensive and periodic health checkup services to all Medicaid enrolled children from birth through age 20 years.

Screening requirements (refer to C&TC Periodicity Schedule - Updated 3/2016):

  • Developmental and social-emotional surveillance or screening is a required component of an EPSDT screening. DHS strongly recommends that a recommended/approved instrument be used for developmental screening, minimally at the age of 9, 18, 24-30 months and at 3-4 years.
  • Due to higher risk of social-emotional delays and concerns among the C&TC-eligible population, separate social-emotional screening is strongly recommended beginning at 6 months of age. Selecting an instrument from the recommended/approved list is considered to be best practice for a developmental screening provider.

Early Childhood Screening

MDE Early Childhood Screening website

Early Childhood Health and Developmental Screening, provided by local school districts, helps parents and communities improve the educational readiness and health of all young children through the early detection of children's health, development, and/or other factors that may interfere with a child's learning and growth. Early Childhood Screening is also an opportunity for parents to enroll in early learning opportunities for their child such as Early Childhood Family Education, School Readiness or district preschool, Head Start, and Early Learning Scholarships for High Quality Childcare.

Screening requirements:

  • Participation in screening is required for young children at least once prior to enrollment in kindergarten in a public school. Minnesota school districts offer free Early Childhood Screening, targeting children between 3 and 4 years of age.
  • Both a MDE/MDH/DHS-approved observational developmental screening instrument and parent report social-emotional screening instrument must be used by school districts to receive state aid for Early Childhood Screening. The comprehensive screening also includes hearing, vision, height, weight, and immunization review. The requirements for this program are outlined in Minnesota Statute 121A.16 - 121A.19.
  • A comparable screening may be submitted by a parent to a district to meet this requirement from Head Start, a clinic, or public health (Child and Teen Checkups).

Follow Along Program

MDH Follow Along Program website

The Follow Along Program, which is administered through local public health departments, is a developmental and social-emotional screening program targeted for children ages birth to 36 months. Children who are identified are referred for further medical, mental health and educational evaluation and services.

Screening requirements:

  • The Ages and Stages Questionnaires, 3rd Edition (ASQ-3) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ: SE) are the only screening instruments used in this program.
  • At a minimum, all families enrolled in the Follow Along Program receive ongoing early childhood anticipatory guidance, three age-appropriate ASQ-3 intervals and one ASQ:SE interval by 36 months of age, and assistance with referrals and access to services when necessary.

Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start website

Head Start and Early Head Start promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision for health, education, nutritional, social, and other services of low-income children and their families.

Screening requirements:

  • Within 45 calendar days of a child’s entry into a program, all children are required to have an up-to-date, age appropriate, preventive health care checkup. In addition, hemoglobin and hematocrit, blood lead, immunizations, height and weight and calculation of BMI must be completed. Screening must incorporate the requirements of the schedule used by the state’s EPSDT program (C&TC in Minnesota).
  • Within 45 calendar days of a child’s entry, agencies must perform or obtain linguistically- and age-appropriate screening procedures to identify concerns regarding a child’s developmental, sensory (visual and auditory), behavior, motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual, and emotional skills.
  • In no less than 90 calendar days from a child’s entry into the program, further diagnostic testing, examination or treatment must be identified and a follow-up plan must be implemented.

Family Home Visiting

MDH Family Home Visiting website

The Family Home Visiting Program supports families experiencing a pregnancy or who have an infant or young children. Home visitors work together with families to support healthy parent-child relationships. Families also receive information on infant care, child growth and development, parenting approaches, disease prevention, preventing exposure to environmental hazards and support services available in the community.

Screening requirements:

  • Periodic child development and social-emotional screenings are provided, using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE).
  • Along with the screenings, information is provided about typical child development and ideas to support a child’s growth and development. Resource and referral information is provided when needs arise.

Child Welfare (Child Protection)

DHS Screening webpage, Child Welfare section

The Minnesota Children’ Mental Health screening law requires that children 3 months to 18 year old within child welfare must have a mental health screening.  This includes children who are receiving child protective services or in out-of-home placement.

Screening requirements:

  • County social services and correctional agencies have the flexibly to decide whether corrections professionals, social services professionals or mental health practitioners will administer mental health screenings.  All screeners must be trained on the use of approved screening instruments. 
  • For children ages 3 -60 months the approved instrument is the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE).
  • Positive screens shall follow-up with a mental health diagnostic assessment.

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