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Developmental Milestones and Assessments

What are developmental milestones?

While each child develops at a different pace, it is widely recognized that every child should reach specific milestones in their development based on the child’s age. These milestones include competencies related to physical/motor, mental, emotional, and social skills development. Developmental milestones are typically measured from birth to age 5.

How can you make sure your kinship child is on track developmentally?

Leading organizations nationwide, such as Centers for Disease Control, Stanford University, and John Hopkins Medicine, have created tools and checklists to help caregivers ensure that their child is on track with the child’s peers. It is critically important to monitor a child’s developmental progress in the early years since prompt intervention and appropriate services can help minimize the impact of developmental issues for the child throughout the rest of their life.

Where can you go for help if you are concerned about your child’s development?

A good first step if you have any concerns about your kinship child’s development is to talk to the child’s doctor. You can also request an evaluation for the child through your local Regional Center, Early Start program, or school district. Parental consent is typically required for the child to receive an evaluation for developmental delays; however, a Caregiver Authorization Affidavit may be considered sufficient to authorize an evaluation in California. (You can learn more about the Caregiver Authorization Affidavit in the Legal Assistance section of this website.) Once you have requested an evaluation for your kinship child, you will be assigned a service coordinator to guide you through the process and support you in obtaining services for your child if needed.

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