Special Start is a collaboration between the Family Health Services Division of the Public Health Department and Children’s Hospital Oakland - Early Intervention Services. Special Start is a long-term relationship-based family support program. It is designed to address the health, developmental and social support needs of a select population of families whose babies have been hospitalized in an Alameda County neonatal intensive care nursery.
The goals of Special Start are to:
- support at-risk, fragile infants and their families
- address health, developmental and social needs of the infant and family
- maximize the infant’s long-term health and developmental outcomes
- Infants that have been hospitalized in an Alameda County Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
- Infants that have a minimum of two medical and two social risk factors identified by a screening form and a joint “rounds” process at major county NICUs
Note: Infants are assigned to the program in a joint triage process with Children’s Hospital Oakland.