Category: Families

DCF Commissioner Katz speaking Sept. 12 in Hartford

August 29, 2016

You are cordially invited to the 14th annual Parents with Cognitive Limitations Workgroup meeting on Poverty and Cognitive Limitations:  Research, Policy and Practice Monday, Sept. 12 from 8:30 – 12 noon at The Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford CT. Please RSVP by September 7, 2016 to with your name, organization, email and phone number Featured speakers include: Commissioner Joette Katz, Department of Children and Families Joanne Goldblum, MSW, Founder & Executive Director, National Diaper Bank Network Jessica Bartholow, Esq., Legislative Advocate, Western Center on Law & Poverty Megan V. Smith, PhD, MPH,  Yale Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Sponsors: Connecticut … Continue reading

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Can Facetime video chat with Grandma or Grandpa support development?

August 16, 2016

New research sheds light on the value of Facetime as meaningful interaction versus just more “screen” time.

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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) resources from U.S.HHS

August 15, 2016

Opioid abuse is increasing nationally with a correlated increase in prenatal opioid exposures and more infants born with the resulting developmental impact. Families of infants diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) are automatically eligible for CT early intervention if referred within the first three months of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides resources that you may find helpful as you work with families affected by Opioid Use Disorder (OUD): One such resource is a video posted by the Texas Dept. of State Health Services that offers several approaches you may want to share with parents … Continue reading

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Update on Re-Referrals

August 15, 2016

Families’  involvement with Birth to Three may start and stop, then restart for a variety of reasons.  When the child is Exited from SPIDER, then the family contacts you or their service coordinator to reconnect,  a set of factors are considered before either the Exit is removed or a new record is created. As of August 1st, CDI administrators Kareena DuPlessis and  Shirley Caro are  processing all of these requests.  They follow the same decision rules that were in effect previously; no changes in protocol.  This streamlined process reduces the number of steps and amount of time needed before a family reconnects with Birth to Three supports. Please … Continue reading

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New System of Payments Policy for Families online

August 5, 2016

The new System of Payments for Families Policy brochure is now available online.  Thanks to the generous support of our Governor and General Assembly, most costs of providing services and supports to families is paid by state funds.  Here is the breakout: 70% State of CT 12% Medicaid reimbursements 9% federal funds 7% private insurance reimbursements 2% parent payments Families that make $45,000 or more  pay a monthly fee based on a sliding scale. These family payments help the state to continue to provide supports and services to all families of eligible children.

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Mind the Baby training at Yale Child Study Center

July 11, 2016

The annual Minding the Baby® (MTB) training institute is right around the corner, to be held July 19-21, 2016 at the Yale Child Study Center, and there is still time to register!  For more information, please see below and visit:  To register, please visit:  MTB is an evidence-based home visiting model run in collaboration with the Yale School of Nursing, Yale Child Study Center, and Fair Haven Community Health Clinic. Developed in a home visitation setting, MTB is an interdisciplinary, primary intervention model that can also be adapted for use in non-home settings.  The annual 3-day MTB training institute is focused on the clinical … Continue reading

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Sign Language Interpretation – update

July 6, 2016

Effective July 15, the Dept. of Rehabilitative Services (CT-DORS) will close the Interpreting Service program. This is designed to save critical state dollars without reducing services – interpreter services will still be available through private companies. If you are in need of interpreting services, please call 2-1-1 or go to and search for “Sign Language Interpretation”. DORS will continue to monitor and post a statewide Interpreter Registry. All sign language interpreters working for compensation in Connecticut must satisfy the mandates of established law CT General Statute Sec. 46a-33a, including annual registration with DORS and submission of documented credentials, including certification … Continue reading

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“Every Parent Has What It Takes To Be A Brain Builder”

June 10, 2016

This is a new and exciting resource,,  for parents developed by a group of dedicated scientists and leaders in brain development.  Parents can sign up (website or app) to receive simple, developmentally appropriate ideas that support their child’s learning.  Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it’s mealtime, bathtime, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture our children’s growing minds.

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Zero To Three National Parent Survey

June 10, 2016

ZERO TO THREE, in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, conducted a comprehensive research effort, including in-home discussions and a large national parent survey with a diverse range of parents of children from birth to 5. The findings provide new insights about the challenges parents face, what they do and do not understand about early childhood development, and what they want and need to be the best parents possible.

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Free Evening at Mystic Aquarium for children with ASD

June 8, 2016

Mystic Aquarium is opening their doors to families and groups of children with an autism spectrum diagnosis or sensory processing disorders on August 16 from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. Free,  pre-registration required. The evening event will feature quiet areas, outdoor “free play” zone, supportive staff, and access to select aquarium exhibits. The outdoor aquarium exhibits- beluga whales, seals and sea lions and the outdoor free play zone will be open from 3:00-7:45pm. The indoor exhibits including the main exhibit floor and the Exploration: Wild exhibit will be open from 3:00pm-8:00pm. The following exhibits will not be open: Sting Ray Touch … Continue reading

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Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!” – Sensory Friendly Performance

April 26, 2016

Imagine parents honestly being able to enjoy the music that their children enjoy. Imagine soulful and current renditions of the ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, and learning how to be polite. Imagine a diverse, and incredibly hip duo, teaching children through music on an animated train…. And Choo-Choo Soul is born! The Saturday, June 25, 2016 performance at the Bushnell is a sensory-friendly performance designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues.

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Comedy Night to celebrate Mental Health Awareness

April 22, 2016

What: Don’t miss the Poster Sisters of Imperfection! Side-splitting sisters Patty Konjoian & Gina Gallagher, authors of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, present “A Humorous Look at Parenting Children with Special Needs” Where: Groton Inn & Suites, 99 Gold Star Highway, Groton, CT 06340 When: Wednesday, May, 11, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm Why: To create awareness and acceptance of children with behavioral health care needs, both in the foster care system and throughout our community. Costs: $10.00 per person, includes dessert buffet, coffee & tea. Take a Break from the Kids, Come to Comedy Night! Ticket Purchase Options: Register online with … Continue reading

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Fun for Families & Little Ones – STEM activities

April 21, 2016

During the early years when children begin to develop language and social skills, they’re also learning about early science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through play and everyday interactions.  STEM learning is a critical part of child development and can happen anytime, anywhere. The real-life skills that children learn when exploring STEM help make them better problem-solvers and thinkers. IDEA Part C includes early numeracy and early literacy as important skills for infants and toddlers. “Let’s Talk, Read and Sing about STEM” tip sheet for Parents offers fun ways to add a daily dose of STEM learning into families’ regular … Continue reading

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Supporting Military Families

April 18, 2016

Military families experience many unique challenges that may be misunderstood by civilian providers. What happens to families after separation from the military? If the service member has changed due to physical injury, traumatic loss, PTSD, depression and anxiety, or traumatic brain injury—costs of war borne also by spouses, children, and parents—the challenges of transition are intensified. To prepare mental health providers to assist veteran families in their transition to the community, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has posted the factsheet After Service: Veteran Families in Transition. Providers will find information about veteran families’ experiences, challenges, and opportunities that accompany their transition … Continue reading

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Immigrant & Refugee Families – Resource

April 13, 2016

In 2015, 97 refugees were resettled in Bridgeport with the help of the International Institute of CT (iiconn). IICONN is a statewide provider of legal immigration services that is recognized by the U. S. Board of Immigration Appeals. They offer a full array of legal immigration services, including court representation, victim assistance, and asylum application assistance. They serve clients with critical immigration concerns that include: Reunification with family members Applying for permanent resident status Preparing for citizenship and naturalization Resolving issues related to their status as a victim of human trafficking or victim of a violent crime such as domestic … Continue reading

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Ending Family Homelessness

April 11, 2016

Join the CT Office of Early Childhood and the Partnership for Strong Communities on Tuesday April 26 from 8:30 – 11:30 AM to hear: Sharon McDonald, Director for Families and Youth at the National  Alliance to End Homelessness highlight national best practices and promising strategies Kathryn Parr, University of CT  presenting cost impact findings Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor and other panelists discussing state-level strategies to support families with unstable housing and prevent or reduce homelessness Free and open to the public The Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, CT (directions:   Register now: More information:  

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Family Story Videos planned

March 31, 2016

The Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) is looking for parents to share their family stories through video! CPAC will assist parents to create a short (3 minute) video that describes their family journey through Birth to Three. The Family Story Videos will be used to spread awareness, offer support and advice with new parents in Birth to Three, and training for professionals in the field. For more information contact Kristen Williams What is needed from families: About 30 minutes for filming 20 pictures (to be scanned) video clips of child (if available) What will happen/questions that will be asked:  … Continue reading

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Inclusion Benefits Everyone!

March 8, 2016

An inspiring story in the Washington Post,  Going on Offense vs. Down Syndrome, highlights that while most people saw limits for Frankie Antonelli his parents saw potential.  They decided to see what an actively competitive home and community environment could do for their son: “How might he develop if they thought in terms of maximizing his abilities instead of disabilities?”  

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Parent Leadership Training Series 2016

February 25, 2016

The CT Parent Advocacy Center is sponsoring an intensive eight-week training designed to help parents gain the skills and knowledge necessary for them to be effective team members at the Planning and Placement meeting (PPT) as well as prepare them for a variety of roles at the school, district, regional or state level. Start date is March 16.  Contact Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center at  1-800-445-2722 or for more information. Parents may visit to register.

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Lead Exposure in Young Children

February 8, 2016

Parents who are worried about lead poisoning may contact their child’s medical provider to request evaluation for lead exposure with a blood test. Infants and toddlers in Connecticut are screened for lead exposure and parents of children with a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter  (mcg/dL) or greater receive information about: identifying and eliminating sources of lead dietary approaches to reducing lead in their children’s bodies typical developmental milestones, so they may identify a delay as soon as possible how to refer their child for a Birth to Three developmental evaluation You can’t see, smell, or taste lead in water. … Continue reading

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