A Bit Better
News From First 5 Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County ACEs Aware
Network of Care Sessions
Join us for the first session of the Santa Cruz County (SCC) ACEs Network of Care Learning Series on The Pair of ACEs in Practice, presented by Wendy Ellis and Harrison Newton of the Center for Community Resilience (CCR) on November 12th from 11:45 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
In this interactive virtual event, participants will:

  • Learn about the SCC ACEs Network of Care and the statewide ACEs Aware initiative
  • Learn about the Pair of ACEs – Adverse Community Experiences in the context of Adverse Community Environments
  • Learn to apply CCR's Building Community Resilience (BCR) process and the Pair of ACEs framing to engage the community in addressing and preventing ACEs
  • Identify key community assets and resources, messaging, and policy topics that promote “upstream” efforts to address social determinants and build community resilience.

"We look forward to working with all partners to advance our collective awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and our ability as a community to collectively prevent them, and support the children, families and individuals who have experienced them,” shares David Brody, Executive Director of First 5 Santa Cruz County.
Online Event Page | Eventbrite

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First 5 Center for Children's Policy:
Early Identification and Intervention
Families can wait months or years from the time they suspect their child has a developmental delay to the time they are screened or receive services. A new interactive flowchart from First 5 Center for Children's Policy walks users through the complex paths a family enrolled in Medi-Cal must navigate before they receive support, and provides real family stories as examples.

As part of the project, the Center interviewed Karla, a San Francisco mother who faced multiple roadblocks in receiving screening, diagnosis, and treatment for her daughter with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Various system breakdowns led to an eight-month delay between when Karla first raised concerns to her doctor and when her daughter got services—and another year-long delay before she got a diagnosis. 

When developmental delays are identified early, interventions are more effective and yield greater life-long outcomes. The time period between ages 0 and 3 is especially critical, as this is a period of exponential brain development when intervention can have a large effect.

Along with the interactive flowchart and family stories, a Key Takeaways report notes areas where system improvements could be made. “This new tool will help advocates and policymakers better understand what families and providers face when navigating the EII system, and where improvements can be made.”
First 5 Santa Cruz County Staff Named
Northern California Assister of the Year
In September, First 5 Santa Cruz County's Health Outreach and Enrollment Manager, Alicia Fernandez, was named the Northern California Assister of the Year by the California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI). Congratulations Alicia!

“I love what I do and have enjoyed being a part of how accessing health has changed over the years. I am fortunate to be part of a group of assistors that have a genuine desire to help families." - Alicia Fernandez
Summer 2020 Community Distributions
Over the summer of 2020, First 5 Santa Cruz County received supplies from First 5 California and a generous grant from the Central California Alliance for Health. In partnership with multiple local agencies, First 5 Santa Cruz County was able to distribute baby food, formula, diapers and baby wipes to over 1,000 community residents impacted by the pandemic. 
Community Announcements
Local Assistance Available to Help with Health Insurance and CalFresh Applications
Having access to health insurance and food for our families is of vital importance. If you, a family member, friend or neighbor need help applying to or renewing an application to county or state health insurance program Certified Application Assistors can answer your questions and offer free application assistance? Call an Application Assistor directly at any of these agencies listed on this flyer for more information.
Triple P Positive Parenting Free Virtual Workshops posted on the Triple P Facebook page for upcoming workshops on parenting and stress management.
Community Resources
Parenting and Caregiver Resources

  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education has a NEW website focused on Distance Learning

If you are in need of child care,
please call the Child Development Resource Center
CZU Lightning Complex Fire Related Resources
COVID 19 Related Community Resources
  • Abriendo Puertas Shares Multi-Lingual COVID-19 Resources for Families: Website

  • Mental Health Tips & Local Resources for COVID-19 – ENGLISH & SPANISH  


PO Box 1457 Capitola, CA 95010

Tel: 831-465-2217 Fax: 831-479-5477
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