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California center requires use of Devereux’s Early Childhood Assessment Program

A nonprofit regional center in California that provides supports and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities is requiring that early intervention providers in the three counties it serves start using the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Program.  

DECA, which was developed by the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC), provides teachers/child care providers and families with a strength-based assessment and planning system designed to promote resilience in children ages four weeks to six-years-old. The nationally standardized assessment has been adopted by school districts, Head Start and other early childcare and education programs across the U.S. – and has expanded into behavioral health settings.  

“I think it’s fabulous that more and more regional centers that provide supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities, like Tri-Counties Regional Center, are turning to DECA as a way to help children thrive and succeed,” said DCRC Director Susan Damico. “To be able to get all of the important adults in a child’s life – parents, child care providers and educators – communicating with each other before any behavioral concerns emerge or escalate is absolutely vital.” 

Regional center makes DECA mandatory 

The assessment of a child’s social and emotional development is the focus of California’s Part C State Systemic Improvement Plan. (Part C addresses early intervention services for infants and toddlers.)  

In an effort to obtain consistent data in this area, Tri-Counties Regional Center (TCRC) is requiring Early Start providers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to start using DECA to assess social and emotional development in infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities. The program, which must be implemented by April 1, 2019, will be a standard practice across all TCRC early intervention providers. 

“TCRC’s decision to make the use of DECA mandatory is exciting for child care providers and families in the state of California, and for the young children who will ultimately benefit from this program,” explained Devereux California Executive Director Amy Evans. “As the only social and emotional assessment tool selected for early intervention providers in this area, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is honored to be part of the process that will help our youth become productive and pro-social members of their communities.” 

How DECA works …

DECA helps teachers, childcare providers and parents understand how children are progressing with respect to three, key social and emotional skills. 

  • Developing healthy relationships
  • Learning to regulate emotions
  • Showing initiative  

Once the assessment is complete, teachers/child care providers can select appropriate strategies - based on the results – for immediate use.  

To learn more about DECA, click here to watch a video, or click here for a one-hour recorded webinar on the DECA Program for Infants Toddlers and Preschoolers. Questions? Contact Susan Damico.

 

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