Children and Youth with Special Needs
Children and Youth with Special Needs' focus is to provide program development, leadership, guidance, and resources to Georgia's 18 Health Districts in the development and provision of a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated system of services for children and youth with special needs, birth to age 21 and their families. These services are designed to assist children in reaching their optimal developmental and physical health as well as to minimize the effects of possible secondary complications.
- To improve the health status and/or developmental potential of children birth to age 21, with developmental or chronic health conditions.
- To improve services for children birth to age 21 with special needs and their families.
- To facilitate the development of an integrated and comprehensive data/information system statewide for children and youth with special needs.
Programs for Children and Youth with Special Needs
Babies Can't Wait
Babies Can't Wait (BCW) is Georgia's comprehensive, coordinated, statewide, interagency service delivery system for infants and toddlers, ages birth to three, who have developmental delays or disabilities, and their families. Early intervention services may include assistive technology, audiology, family training and counseling, certain health services, medical diagnostic services, certain nursing services, nutrition services, occupational, physical, and speech/language therapies, psychological services, social work, special instruction, vision services, and transportation to services. The focus of Babies Can't Wait is to help reduce the need for special services later in life by helping children with developmental disabilities reach their maximum developmental potential.
Children's Medical Services
Children's Medical Services (CMS) directly provides or coordinates specialty medical evaluations and treatment for eligible children (birth to age 21) with chronic medical conditions. CMS provides or pays for comprehensive physical evaluations, diagnostic tests, inpatient/outpatient hospitalization, medications and other medical treatments, durable medical equipment, hearing aids, and dental care related to the child's CMS-eligible condition. Genetics Services provides diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of genetic conditions as a CMS service. CMS works closely with the primary care provider to coordinate services. The focus of Children's Medical Services is to provide quality care and financial assistance with services that will enable children to receive medically necessary specialty services. These medical services may prevent further complications from their condition(s) and will promote healthy growth and development.