The Florida Healthy Start program provides education, support and proven interventions to expecting and new families who are at-risk of a poor birth outcome or delay in development. The program focuses on common issues or conditions that occur during pregnancy or in infancy. Screening, offered by prenatal care providers and hospitals, helps to identify families that could benefit from the program. Healthy Start is voluntary and available statewide to all eligible families regardless of their insurance coverage or citizenship. Families can participate in Healthy Start beginning in pregnancy and until their baby reaches age 1. Services can be extended if needed up to age 3.
The Healthy Start program offers:
- Home Visiting – one-on-one support from a friendly advisor in your home or a convenient community location
- Prenatal Education & Support – understand changes to your body, and what to expect during labor and delivery
- Free Screening & Services – get screened for common problems pregnant women and new families often experience, and receive services if you need them
- Parenting Education & Support – get tips on taking care of your baby and learn more about how he grows and develops
- Care Coordination – get help with finding prenatal and pediatric care, access support groups and classes.
- Health and Well-Being – plan for future pregnancies by learning all the options, and connect to training, education, child care and other resources to help you and your family succeed.
Prenatal Care Providers & Hospitals – Why Screening is Important!
Florida Statute 383.14 requires that all pregnant women be offered the state Prenatal Risk Screening at their first or consequent prenatal visit and the state Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening be offered to parents or guardians of all infants born in Florida before leaving the delivery facility.
Information on these screens helps families access an array of programs and services in the community through CONNECT. Support the families in your practice or facility by:
- Screening everyone
- Reviewing the information with clients
- Obtaining all required consents for sharing information
- Referring everyone to CONNECT if they are interested in receiving more information about services available in your community.
Healthcare providers and community agencies: Healthy Start screening forms can be obtained by your local Coalition or downloaded here from our website.