Babies Can’t Wait is a statewide early intervention program for children (birth to 3 years of age) with developmental delays and their families. Babies Can’t Wait can assist families in identifying needed resources and services within our community to meet a child’s developmental needs. Agencies and individuals provide services from both the public and private sector that include speech, occupational and physical therapy and special instruction.
Babies Can’t Wait is established by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which guarantees all eligible children, regardless of their disability, access to services that will enhance their development. Additional information about IDEA and national efforts supporting the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the law is available through the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.
The Babies Can’t Wait program uses the case management (service coordinator or SC) model guided by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The SC writes the IFSP with information and input from a team that includes the primary care physician, family, any relevant therapists and the SC. The plan includes any family goals that would include any needs the family has that include personal health care services and the provision of healthcare. Babies Can’t Wait staff and providers provide information and therapeutic services to parents about their children’s medical/developmental conditions. They train the parent to provide services to their child in their natural environment on a daily basis.
For more information, contact the Babies Can’t Wait Coordinator at Cobb & Douglas Public Health at 770-514-2462.
For developmental screening and enrollment call 770-514-2759.
Caroline Whaley relishes life as a wife, mother, an economic developer and civic leader. She’s even sung the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs! But in 2007, an event took place that shook Caroline’s world and placed her and her family on an unexpected journey.
“We were on a family vacation in Florida,” Caroline recalls, “when my newborn son, Miles, went blue and limp in my arms. I’m CPR certified, but I completely flipped out. I hurled Miles at my sister like a football and screamed, ‘Do something!’ Thankfully, she was able to revive him. But little did we know then, Miles would have to be resuscitated 18 more times over the next year and a half.”
Miles’s diagnosis: Reflux. He never spit up, but stomach acid repeatedly stopped his heart. The Whaleys heard about the Babies Can’t Wait program at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. They initially hesitated to apply because they were well-insured. At four months of age, however, Miles was hitting lifetime insurance maximums. He was also experiencing motor delays due to medical monitors and restricted movement.
“Babies Can’t Wait was a godsend,” Caroline says. A program caseworker helped the family apply for Medicaid, file insurance claims, and link the family to therapy options for Miles, who has recovered completely.
Caroline “pays it forward” these days by serving as chair of the Cobb Health Futures’ 2014 annual campaign. The campaign helps sustain public health programs at risk by encouraging individuals to become Public Health Guardians with a gift of $250 or more.
Thank you, Caroline, for giving back so generously.