January 2021 – PAT Meeting #28

PAT Meeting #28 01/08/2021


  • 7 UB Backbone Staff (Kassa Belay, Danielle Augustine, Dionne Grayman, David Harrington, Athenia Rodney, Briona Clark, Aileen Gonzalez)

  •  17 PAT Members

  •  10 FAB members


  • Share updates about ongoing projects

  • Meet Aileen Gonzalez, UB Early Intervention Ambassador

  • Discuss 2021 PAT member priorities

Opening Reflection

  • Part 1 of the opening reflection was a menti.com word cloud about emotions the group felt during the Georgia Senate run-off election results, before the riot

    • Answers included: hopeful, grateful, relief, blessed, excitement, overjoyed, validated, black, proud

  • Part 2 was a second word cloud reflection on emotions through Wednesday afternoon and evening during the riots at the Capitol

    • Horrified, disgusted, angry, anxious, tired, embarrassed, fearful, white privilege, determined, outraged, upset, infuriated, entitlement, worried

  • The group followed with a discussion on their disappointment with police response to the riots, specifically the difference between the treatment of the insurrectionists and the aggressive responses from police to peaceful protests during the black lives matter protest.

News and Updates

  • Review of last month’s PAT Meeting – December 2020

    • Reviewed UB’s new EI Ambassador position and discussed how PAT members can begin to offer and receive support

    • Discussed NYC Pandemic Recovery

      • Revealed service and information gaps

      • Recommendations for a successful 2021 pandemic recovery

  • Review of last month’s FAB Meeting – December 2020

    • We introduced the FAB to EY’s antiracism task force to begin partnering on the covid-relief small business grant

    • 2nd FAB Fellowship

      • The job description has been shared and will focus on provider engagement

      • The selection process has been decided

  • Family Co-op Session II

    • Session II restarts tomorrow 01/09

    • 20+ families gather virtually every Saturday for storytime, sing-a-long, and Parent Corner

    • Session II ends on February 13 and Session III begins on Feb. 27th

    • Registration for Session III will open in mid-January

    • Parents on the Session II waitlist will be given priority for Session II

    • Paul Levy, of the Brooklyn Public Library has visited both sessions and future session will include musicians, hair stylists, and the Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project!

  • Learning Landscapes & Books for Brownsville

    • Cards that can be easily placed throughout the home or taken on-the-go

      • Marlibox will include culturally sensitive crafts and materials to be paired with activity cards

      • UB held a roundtable with FAB members to develop and workshop the cards

      • Kristen Rocha Aldrich of Reach Out & Read, has partnered with UB to write the curriculum

      • UB is currently working through the final stages and requested PAT help with distribution

  • Early Intervention Ambassador

    • Job Overview

      • UB’s Early Intervention Ambassador began January 4th as the go-to person for EI in Brownsville.

      • The EI Ambassador will:

        • Educate families to reduce stigma about EI

        • Guide families through the EI referral Process

        • Liaise between families and service providers to support referrals and evaluations

    • Welcome EI Ambassador : Aileen Gonzalez

  • Early Intervention Services Review

    • David reviewed the basics of EI

      • Who: Age 0-3 with disabilities or developmental delays

      • What: Federal entitlement to therapies and services

      • Where: Provided in a natural setting like home or daycare

      • When: As early as possible

      • Why: Prevent children from being left behind

      • How: A mandated process through the State and City DOH

        • Parents not required to use the service and must consent

        • EI does not pass on info to other programs without consent

  • EI Referral Process

  1. Referral

    1. If a delay or disability is detected or suspected in a 0-3 yr old

    2. Anyone can refer, often a doctor, nurse, counselor/therapist, teacher, or parent

    3. EI provides a Service Coordinator who contacts parents

  2. Evaluation

    1. An evaluation is conducted if a parent consents

    2. Done by an evaluator who looks at the child’s overall development for delays in their native language

    3. Covers physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and adaptive development

  3. Eligibility

    1. If child meets strict guidelines for delays

    2. Ineligible children can be monitored and re-referred

    3. Some conditions (i.e. low birth weight, disabilities, or surgery) are automatically eligible

  4. Services

    1. If a child is eligible and parents consent, continues up to 3 years old

    2. A state contracted provider performs services in the home, daycare, or another natural setting

    3. PT, OT, speech therapy, counseling, assistive technology

  • Referral Process Takeaways

    • Kids drop off at each stage of the referral process

    • Black children are referred less often than white and Hispanic children on the City-wide level and even more so in Brownsville

    • Hispanic children are referred to EI at a comparable rate to white children City-wide but are over represented in Brownsville when compared to the City-wide levels

    • Black and Hispanic children have a lower rate of evaluation for EI in Brownsville when compared to City-wide levels

    • Black and Hispanic children have a lower rate of evaluation for EI once referred in Brownsville and City-wide

    • There is a large drop off between referral and evaluation for hispanic children in Brownsville in particular

    • Pre-pandemic “missing” referrals were estimated at 25-30 children in the 11212 zipcode per year

    • Aileen’s role will address the secondary drivers, affecting provider bias/racism and family engagement strategies as well as family misconceptions about EI, their role in it, and stigma

  • Q and A with Aileen

    • Naimah asked: How will Aileen approach African American community members about services while accounting for historical mistrust and trauma of the AA community within American medical institutions?

      • Aileen will use sensitive and careful language, taking her time to allow parents to come around through processing the information on their own time and always using a strength based approach that starts with parent/caregiver goals for their children

      • The group feels it would be seen by community members as a positive attribute that Aileen is not employed by any medical institution or state agency

    • Revere asked: What will Aileen’s outreach strategy be?

      • Build connections with agencies that service families in order to connect directly with families

    • Stephanie Ludwig of Nurse Partnership asks: How  will Aileen address the lower quality of virtual evaluations ?

      • Evaluators should be properly prepared to ensure a distraction free setting and Aileen can help parents prepare for evaluations to optimize results and if invited, attend sessions with them

    • How do we react to children being denied services?

      • Provide worksheets, resources, programs, videos, and others at home activities to develop children in the meantime before another evaluation can be conducted

      • Parent’s deserve a second opinion and can be supported in pursuing them

    • What will Aileen do if parents refuse the referral?

      • Continue to reach out on regular basis

      • Encourage families to continue considering EI as an option

      • Suggest alternative or interim activities such as developmental monitoring

    • Will Aileen be able to provide videos and other forms of technology?

      • Yes, she is up to date on the latest technology

    • Georgina asks: Are they any HIPPA concerns?

      • Kassa says that there may be a situation where consent forms should be signed on a case by case basis but ultimately this is to be determined with client families and their providers

    • Summary

      • There should be preparation work and support before and during evaluation so that parents can be prepared

      • A vetted list of appropriate EI providers for Brownsville and a list of those to avoid will be developed by Aileen

      • Aileen will have access to the Bureau of Early Intervention at the Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene through UB

  • PAT Member Priorities

    • The group was invited to post ideas/responses to the following questions on a Padlet here: http://bit.ly/2021PAT

    • What are your programs top priorities for 2021?

      • Ex. Distributing resources such as books/toys to facilitate child development; Furthering strengthening opportunities to collaborate between service providers to better support families around remote learning and enrolling in helpful services such as EI

    • What challenges do you anticipate for 2021?

      • Funding constraints

      • Increase in Covid rates delaying the return to in person visits

      • Vaccine misinformation

    • What new projects do you have on the horizon?

    • Which projects do you have on the horizon?

    • Which projects, priorities, and challenges would you like to collaborate on with other PAT members? How?

      • Vaccine outreach

      • Collective advocacy

      • Riverdale Ave Community School partnership with alternative internet provider

      • Reach Out and Read workshops – Kristin can be contacted at [email protected]

    • What have you decided NOT to work or focus on in 2021?

      • Avoid the negative and focus on solutions

Next Steps


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