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Project LAUNCH

Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) aims to promote healthy social and emotional development for children birth through age 8.

The broad goals of PROJECT LAUNCH are:

  1. Expanded use of family centered, culturally relevant prevention and wellness promotion practices in primary care and early childhood settings.

  2. Increased access to developmental screenings, assessments and services for young children and their families.

  3. A workforce that understands young children’s healthy development.

  4. Improved systems of care for young children and families at the local, state, and federal levels.

  5. More children entering school ready to learn.

In Massachusetts, Project LAUNCH is a collaborative effort led by the Department of Public Health.  The Boston Public Health Commission oversees local LAUNCH efforts to improve systems of care for Boston children, working in partnership with the Mayor’s Thrive in 5 Initiative.  Guided by an evaluation by the Institute for Urban Health Research at Northeastern University; and state, local, and family councils; grant outcomes will inspire practice and policy changes toward a more integrated and sustainable early childhood service system throughout Massachusetts.

Boston LAUNCH direct services are provided for children ages 0-8 and their parents at two community health centers and the pediatric primary care clinic at Boston Medical Center.  These services focus on strengthening families’ understanding of early childhood development and specifically supporting their children’s social and emotional development.
In the first year of full operation, Project LAUNCH served approximately 400 children, ages 0 to 8, and their families.  Many of these children and families live with a great deal of stress and struggle to feel happy and healthy.  The support they receive from Project LAUNCH builds skills and confidence to reduce stress and increase opportunities to build healthy relationships. 

Project LAUNCH staff work with a family and a pediatrician as a team.  Services are provided by a Family Partner and Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician who partner with caregivers and people who know the child and family well.  The Family Partner is someone who knows about the stresses of being a parent and can help with the ups and downs of parenthood.  The Project LAUNCH team works with a family to identify and address sources of extreme stress which can negatively impact a child’s physical and emotional growth and development. 

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