What is LAUNCH?
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is a national initiative that was piloted in Louisiana. While active, the program was implemented in Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion parishes. The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health coordinated Project LAUNCH in conjunction with the Office of Behavioral Health, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The aim was for all children ages 0-8 to reach social, emotional, behavioral, physical and cognitive milestones. In addition to providing services, Project LAUNCH increased knowledge about healthy child development through public education campaigns and workforce development activities.
Important Notice: As of 2021, the Bureau of Family Health has paused all Project LAUNCH activities to evaluate future strategies in early childhood. Stay tuned for updates, or contact us for more details.
How Does It Work?
Project LAUNCH Louisiana’s mission was “To build a system that supports the health, wellness and social-emotional development of young children through partnerships with providers and families, training, improvements in the coordination of services, and policy change.”
There were five main goals and strategies:
- Develop an early childhood system focused on well-being across all developmental areas by:
- Organizing a state leadership team and a local young child wellness council
- Conducting a thorough environmental scan
- Creating a strategic plan
- Increase primary care providers’ ability to identify early mental health concerns and manage early childhood health concerns by implementing a consultation model to integrate behavioral health into primary care settings.
- Promote emotional and behavioral well-being of at-risk children by including mental health consultations and parenting education in early care settings.
- Increase providers’ focus on social and emotional well-being by providing mental health consultation to Early Steps.
- Increase the awareness and skills of parents and caregivers to support the healthy development and well-being of young children by improving access to evidence-based parenting programs.