Child Health

Health is the foundation for strong development in childhood. Conversely, undetected and untreated health and developmental issues can significantly impact a child’s learning and later school success. Too often concerns are eluding early detection resulting in serous, and costly, learning difficulties later on. Intervening as early as possible, and linking families to needed services, can often assure that concerns do not escalate into life-altering conditions, can dramatically improve overall positive outcomes for children, and can provide future cost savings.


First 5 San Francisco, in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, the San Francisco Human Services Agency, and the Department of Public Health, oversees a number of initiatives to ensure improved coordination of health and mental health services for children and greater access to these services as early as possible. In order to accomplish this, health and mental health initiatives are offered both city-wide and integrated within core early learning and family support service platforms.

Goals, Outcomes, and Strategies



San Francisco establishes a system of universal early identification and intervention for children birth to five.



  1. Families and providers know where to go for referrals and resources about developmental concerns and questions.
  2. All children are screened at regular intervals and assessed as needed.
  3. Developmental concerns and issues are identified and addressed prior to kindergarten.


  1. Partner with the Department of Public Health, SFUSD and other stakeholders to make early child developmental health screenings universal and to link families with support services.
  2. Strengthen and build linkages between the pediatric community, social services, and education on systems to increase families’ access and utilization of needed services.
  3. Develop model(s) to coordinate and integrate services and supports that improve child health and well-being in multiple settings where children and families are present.