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Office of Children's Health

Project LAUNCH

Project LAUNCHWhat is Project LAUNCH?

In 2008, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created a new grant program, Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health). The program is designed to promote the wellness of young children ages birth to 8 years of age by addressing the physical, emotional, social, and behavioral aspects of their development.

Arizona's Project LAUNCH will implement a range of evidence-based public health strategies to support young child wellness. State agencies will work to improve coordination among child-serving systems, build infrastructure, and improve methods for providing services.

Project LAUNCH Arizona will serve families with children prenatally through age 8 and promote health, wellness, and positive child development by involving the family. Services will be targeted to children and families residing in the South Mountain area of Phoenix, specifically zip codes 85040 and 85041.

Project LAUNCH Arizona will promote young child wellness in the South Mountain area of Phoenix by enhancing access to mental health and wellness services, promoting developmental screenings in many settings, integrating behavioral health into primary care, improving parenting skills, and fostering early childhood social, physical, and emotional development. The purpose of this project is to promote a coordinated and integrated system of care that comprehensively responds to the needs of children, ages 0-8 years, and their families.

Why is this program needed?

The South Mountain area of Phoenix has one of the state's highest concentrations of adult and juvenile offenders returning from prison or detention, or on probation. Family and community conditions include incarceration, involvement with Child Protective Services, educational deficits, and economic and family instability all of which put children at extreme risk.

The Project LAUNCH grant will enable families and children in the area to benefit from additional resources to support early childhood development and address the root causes that lead to juvenile and adult criminal activity and incarceration. The project will make a deliberate effort to connect parents/families, with a history of incarceration, to essential services and supports that strengthen families, reinforce parental roles, and reduce the negative effects of incarceration on children and families.

What are the goals of the program?

Arizona's Project LAUNCH goals are:

  • To build a solid state infrastructure to implement a comprehensive early childhood system of care for Arizona's young children
  • To deliver local family-centered services for Arizona's highest need young children and their families
  • To promote positive social and emotional development and mental health for young children and their families