About Missouri Project LAUNCH
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is a child wellness promotion grant program of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In Missouri, Project LAUNCH is a collaborative effort led by the Department of Mental Health, in partnership with the Department of Health and Senior Services. The project’s purpose is to create a coordinated system that addresses the needs of children ages 0–8 and allows them to thrive in safe, supportive environments and enter school with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need to succeed.
Through education and awareness efforts, Missouri Project LAUNCH is charged with connecting and strengthening the supports for parents, pediatricians, educators, social service agencies and child care providers so that children ages 0–8 can thrive in safe, supportive environments and enter school with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need to succeed. Guided by an evaluation conducted by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at University of Missouri St. Louis; and state and local councils; grant outcomes will inspire practice and policy changes toward a more integrated and sustainable early childhood service system throughout Missouri.
To ensure that Missouri’s early childhood programs and services are comprehensive, coordinated, accessible, adequately funded and of the highest quality to meet the needs and to promote the well-being of all young children and their families. This can be accomplished by (a) developing key partnerships, (b) building collaborative strategies and (c) ensuring equal access to necessary resources, resulting in the implementation of an effective and sustainable early childhood system.
All young children in Missouri are safe, healthy and capable of reaching their full potential.
Five Areas of Focus
Project LAUNCH grantees implement five core prevention and promotion strategies:
- Screening and assessment in a variety of child-serving settings,
- Enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional well-being,
- Mental health consultation in early care and education programs,
- Family strengthening and parent skills training, and
- Integration of behavioral health into primary care settings.