Healthy Development

These services ensure expectant parents and those with young children have access to comprehensive, coordinated care that maximizes the child’s physical and emotional health and regular screenings to identify developmental delays, disabilities, and emotional concerns. Examples of services include developmental screening tools, healthcare-focused programming, behavioral health services, and programs addressing environmental hazards.  

  • Keep Early Education Positive (KEEP) is a program that teams mental health professionals with early care and education staff and families to promote positive social/emotional development of children in care. This programming works in conjunction with Promote, Refer, Educate-Keep Early Education Positive (PRE-KEEP). PRE-KEEP works to increases mental health services for children through a partnership with Arbor Circle and provides basic mental health training for parents and teachers. PRE-KEEP is a program through the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC). KEEP is provided by Arbor Circle
  • Infant Toddler Developmental Services (ITDS) is a home-based service that provides clinical interventions to families with children ages 0-5 where the parent-infant attachment or child’s healthy development needs support. ITDS is the work of Arbor Circle
  • Cherry Health’s Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) is a parent support and coaching program for pregnant mothers and infants. The MIHP team provides education, support, developmental assessment, referrals to community and medical resources, and coordination of prenatal and infant care. Services are provided by a team and can be offered in the home, office, or a community setting.

  • The Connections Program involves Parent Coaching combined with developmental screenings. A part of the program includes learning kits with age-appropriate materials, delivered to three- and four-year-old children in Kent County. These learning kits come with guides for parents on how to use the materials at home. This program comes to you from Family Futures
  • The Family Engagement and Stabilization Program works with families that have recently transitioned into stable housing. Through this program families with children, 0-5 years old receive services concentrated on the health and development of their children and family by use of parent education, developmental and health screenings, and community connection. This service is provided by Family Promise of Grand Rapids.  
  • Reach Out and Read gives young children in Kent County a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. This is a national program brought to you locally by Ready for School, the Reach Out and Read West Michigan affiliate.  
  • The Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Network is a collective community effort working to ensure Kent County is addressing the social, equity, economic, and health factors that contribute to healthy births in Kent County. The Kent County Health Department will lead FIMR and uses an approach that is community-based, action-oriented, and designed to bring together local health providers, consumers, advocates, and leaders.  

Environmental health hazards in the home can contribute to lead poisoning in young children, which can lead to birth defects, delays, and more. These Ready by Five providers work on the issues related to lead in Kent County. 

  • The Kent County Health Department leads the Public Education, Risk Identification, and Elimination Lead Services Coordination.   
  • Lead causes serious damage to children's brains even at relatively low levels of exposure—the effects of which are largely irreversible. Early detection is key and testing for blood lead levels is quick and easy! Cherry Health offers a simple “finger-prick” lead screening in their pediatric department at Heart of the City Health Center.

  • A program brings lead screenings to home visitors and case management through Healthy Homes of West Michigan.
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