The Will County Health Department is inviting pregnant women, along with parents of children up to age five, to complete the All Our Kids Network on-line survey for their five-year reassessment.
The All Our Kids Network is a collaboration of over 50 partners from health care, education, the faith-based community, social services, and other parent support and emotional organizations. AOK has been supporting families with young children since 2004.
Will County Health Department Program Manager for Community Planning Jennifer Gorszczyk says the major goal is to find out what young children are really in need of these days, and then to get everyone involved on the same page.
“We are collecting community-wide data from future and current parents concerning economic factors, poverty levels, info about the parents themselves, and also what the doctors’ offices are reporting from their ‘ages and stages questionnaires’ that they hand out to parents as their children develop.”
The hope is that once this data gets collected, the ultimate results will be more communication between doctors’ offices, health providers, social services, childcare agencies, and everyone else involved in a child’s early development. Right now, Gorszczyk says, “a lot of this is done in a mix and match way. If the needs of the children are not updated and the information is not shared, children can fall through the cracks.”
For example, perhaps a child needs a speech or occupational therapist. Numerous studies have shown that it is best for children to begin this special care before they reach the age of two. Therefore, all parties have to be talking with each other. And if there is an upward trend in one of these developmental problems, everyone needs to know.
Gorszczyk also says that one of the positive outcomes from the last AOK reassessment was the establishment of parent cafes, where moms and dads were invited to increase their knowledge on parenting skills, as well as communicating with their very young children.
To complete this survey, pregnant women and parents of children up to five are asked to go to https://surveys.cprd.uillinois.edu/scripts/rws5.pl?FORM=AOKEngParentSurvey&PWD=100
. You can also access that link by going to the Will County Department website, www.willcountyhealth.org
, finding this story, and clicking on the survey link. The survey is being taken between now and June 1st.