JKI was fortunate to have Grace Chau, Supervising Social Worker and Tina Tom, Early Start Service Coordinator speak to us about GGRC and answer our questions about helping our families get connected with them.
GGRC’s Early Start program provides early intervention services to infants or toddlers (birth-36 months) in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
The services offered by Early Start may include the following in 1 hour, 1x/week sessions in the home or community:
Assistive technology (devices and services)
Audiology or hearing services
Family training, counseling and home visits
Health services necessary for a child to benefit from other early intervention services
Medical services necessary for diagnosis or evaluation
Social work services
Speech and language services
Transportation and related costs necessary for a child to receive services
Who refers the child? Families can get connected with GGRC through self-referral, their pediatrician, or other agencies services families (such as speech-language pathologists.) The cut-off age for making referrals is 33 months of age so the child should be directed to apply for services through the school district instead.
What is the referral process like? The professional or family referring the child fills out an intake form or referral form available on their website and emails or mails it to GGRC. A service coordinator or social worker will then contact the family within 3 weeks to continue the process. GGRC has 45 days to complete an assessment.
How does GGRC determine eligibility? The child is observed and assessed using the Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP) if they’re less than 12 months or the Developmental Assessment of Young Children–Second Edition (DAYC-2). If the child has a 33% delay in one or more areas, then they are eligible for services. Two of the assessment team members will then create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and the family will be assigned a case manager to guide them through the next steps.
Are GGRC services free? Every case is different, but overall GGRC is the last resort payor. They will look at a family’s insurance plan to see the plan covers and work with the family.
Should speech-language pathologists refer a child to GGRC if the family has insurance coverage? If a family only needs speech therapy and has insurance that will cover it, there is no need to refer to GGRC. If the child is in need of therapy in multiple areas or is going to run out of insurance visits, then it would be appropriate to refer to GGRC. Families can also access more services outside of what insurance covers.
What happens when the child turns three years old (36 months)? When the child is 30 months, GGRC starts the process of discussing a transition from GGRC to the local school district. At 3 years, children become eligible for services through SFUSD, which may involve drop-in services or half-day special day class through kindergarten.