To develop collaborative partnerships to improve the lives of children (who are risk due to poverty, with disabilities or special health care needs), their families and the community through strengthening educational programs, innovative evaluation and research, and extraordinary patient care.
- Department began in the early 1970s as the Infant Program. The charges for a Parent-Infant session was $2.
- Corry Robinson took over the Infant Department in 1973 and expanded the department to include a center-based program for children who were deaf-blind and who had multiple disabilities.
- The Department of Education was also known for its assessment of young children with disabilities.
- In the 1980s, the department expanded their work to supporting young children who were hospitalized in both the neonatal units and pediatric floors. These were national grants and the department was recognized for their work in this area. This was the precursor to the current NICU follow-up project, Developmental TIPS.
- In the 2000s, the department expanded their role into the area of program evaluation.
- Four faculty.
- Sixteen program evaluation and clinical staff.
- Three data base analysts and data entry staff.
- Two support staff.
- Provide extraordinary interdisciplinary, family-centered services for persons with disabilities and special health care needs for young children.
- Implement Developmental TIPS (a statewide NICU developmental follow-up project) across 11 hospitals. Annually, 1,950 babies are enrolled into follow-up.
- Improve the educational, health and community practices that impact children and families who are at risk for adverse developmental outcomes through program evaluation, training, and community outreach in collaboration with community partners by strengthening programs and improving parent/child interactions and teacher/child interactions.
- Evaluate 26 programs (including those focused on early childhood education, training, K-12 education, social services and health) across the metro, state and region
Training and research activities
- Serve as the premier source of information to scientists, care providers, education programs, clinicians, families and community leaders across the region, and nation.
- Implement a training and technical assistance grant to support early childhood teachers to improve young children’s social emotional and executive functioning skills.
- Provide statewide training on classroom observation tools through a contract with Nebraska Department of Education.
- Teach courses at University of Nebraska at Omaha and Lincoln.
- Present at national meetings.
- Conduct translational and clinical research and evaluation with the goal of improving care of all children and their families.
- Current research is in the areas of the developmental outcomes of NICU graduates, the development of an infant/toddler literacy scale, and on the impact of early childhood programs on child outcomes.
- Advocate at the local, state, federal and international level to promote best practices, policies and/or laws on behalf of individuals with disabilities and special health care needs and their families.
- Provide reviews of state evaluation data to inform First Five Nebraska (policy/advocacy agency).
- Serve on Rooted in Relationships and Pyramid Statewide advisory boards.