Resources for Parents
Concerned about a child's development?
Help Me Grow is a county-wide system that supports children and their families by providing free developmental screenings and linkages to services that promote optimal growth.
Help Me Grow assists families in accessing medical, special needs and behavioral health care services. Families are also linked with child development and nutrition/food resources. Any child ages birth through 5 years old who is a SLO County resident is eligible. All services are provided free of charge.
Contact SLO Help Me Grow:
Help for Parents When Talking With Their Pediatrician
Identifying developmental delays early and connecting with appropriate resources and support is critical to the health and success of children. However parents may be unsure of when, how, and with whom to address their concerns.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a flyer guiding parents about how to talk to the doctor about concerns regarding a child's development. Clear steps and suggestions will empower parents to approach the doctor with confidence and be prepared with the right questions. We have modified this flyer to include San Luis Obispo County referral information for parents. The flyer is in both English and Spanish.
Free Milestones Tools
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides free Milestones checklists, brochures and booklets that are available online and by order. These are wonderful tools to help parents identify any signs of developmental delay, while learning more about their child's growth.
- Visit this link for a variety of downloadable Milestones tools.
- To order the Milestones booklet in English or Spanish, visit this order form. Select "Child Development - Learn the Signs. Act Early" under Programs. Press GO and you can request free booklets to be mailed to your site.
- Parents/guardians can download CDC’s Milestone Tracker app to complete a milestone checklist for their child. Then they can share a summary with their child’s doctor, get tips for development, and find out what to do if they have a concern.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs include experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in the home; and losing a family member. Children who experience ACEs do not always experience poor outcomes later in life; however the risks are exponentially greater.
Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and, early death. Family support programs throughout San Luis Obispo County work to reduce both the occurrence of ACEs and their harmful effects by developing community resilience, building protective factors in families, proving concrete supports during times of need, and educating service providers.
The Long-Term Health Effects of Childhood Trauma
Many of you are actively working to reduce trauma for children. When you do, you have an even larger effect on their life than you imagined. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) cause toxic stress that can prevent a child from learning, cause negative behaviors, make it difficult to make friends, and cause lasting health problems. Reducing trauma lowers a child's long-term risk of early pregnancy, substance abuse, depression, heart and liver disease, STDs, smoking, and intimate partner violence.
The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being. People often say that young children are not affected by trauma, neglect, and abuse. The ACE Study has shown that this is not true. For more information about health risks from trauma, watch this great TED Talk by California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris:
Parent Coaches are professionals with years of experience. They build parental strengths, encourage self-care practices, and help parents find age-appropriate parenting strategies. Coaching can help a parent find calm in the chaos and stay focused on what is most important - the parent-child relationship.
Parents can call or text directly to schedule a session:
Special Needs Resources
Contact Parents Helping Parents for help with Special Needs resources. Contact PHP at (805) 543-3277.
For help finding childcare visit this link, https://capslo.org/find-child-care/
For assistance with childcare payments visit this link, https://capslo.org/assistance-with-child-care-payments/
Contact an advocate or staff member at a Family Resource Center for support with non-medical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, parent education and navigating social services. A full listing of Family Resource Centers in San Luis Obispo County can be found here:
Learn more about ACEs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website provides information, education, research and a guide to preventing ACEs. Access the ACEs page here.
ACEs Aware is an initiative led by the California Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services to give Medi-Cal providers training, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for ACEs. The ACEs Aware website includes an extensive digital resource library with information about screening and guidance for approaching treatment and providing trauma-informed care.