Healthy Steps

Sponsor/Type: First Steps South Carolina
Project Period: 04/01/2022 – 09/30/2024

Task Overview and Description

HealthySteps, is an evidence-based, team-based pediatric primary care program that promotes the health, well-being and school readiness of babies and toddlers, with an emphasis on families living in low-income communities. The program is led by a HealthySteps Specialist, who joins the pediatric primary care team to ensure universal screening(s), provide successful intervention, referrals, and follow-up care to the whole family. All families will receive HealthySteps universal services. Families with additional needs will receive tier 2 (short-term support for mild concerns) or tier 3 (comprehensive serves for families most at risk).

The HealthySteps model consists of the following 8 Core Components:

  1. Child development, socio-emotional, and behavioral screening
  2. Screening for family needs (i.e., maternal depression, other risk factors, social determinants of health)
  3. Child development support line (i.e., phone, text, email, online portal)
  4. Child development and behavior consults
  5. Care coordination and systems navigation
  6. Positive parenting guidance and information
  7. Early learning resources
  8. Ongoing preventive team based well-child visits

The HealthySteps model seeks to serve all children and families birth to 3 years of age and is designed to be integrated into pediatric primary care or family medicine clinics throughout the nation. However, partnerships are encouraged to target clinics that serve the most at-risk families.

School readiness risk factors targeted by HealthySteps include those associated with family need (poverty, maternal/caregiver risk factors) and child development risk factors (developmental delay, behavioral concerns).

Although there is no minimum length of time for the program, research has shown that the longer families are involved with the program, the more positive effects are seen. In order to ensure the delivery of high-quality services and the validity of agency-wide evaluation efforts, MUSC and Local Partnerships shall ensure that each SC First Steps-funded strategy is implemented with fidelity to its published, research-based model.

For more information contact:

Amy Williams
Next Step Director

Kerry McIver Cordan
Program Officer, Local Partnerships
South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness

Lorena Cervantes
Healthy Steps Specialist
MUSC Children’s Health University Pediatrics

Cristina Holtz-Crosby
Healthy Steps Specialist
MUSC Children’s Health University Pediatrics

Abigail Santiago
Healthy Steps Specialist
MUSC Children’s Health University Pediatrics
Berkeley County First Steps & Healthy Steps