Location and Office Hours


Ellsworth Office

Pierce County Office Building
Main Level, Room 171

412 W. Kinne St.
PO Box 238
Ellsworth, WI 54011

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
(Closed Holidays)

Phone: 715.273.6755
Fax: 715.273.6854

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River Falls Office
1234 S Wasson Lane, Suite A
River Falls, WI 54022

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm
(Evening hours available,
call the clinic for details.)
(Closed Holidays)

Phone: 715.425.8003
Fax: 715.425.8221

Staff Contacts

Interim Director/Health Officer
Dianne H-Robinson - EXT 6563
dhrobins@co.pierce.wi.us

Birth to Three
Lisa Olson - EXT 6759
lisa.olson@co.pierce.wi.us

Environmental Health
Michele Williams - EXT 6557
michele.williams@co.pierce.wi.us

Reproductive Health-
River Falls
-715.425.8003
piercerh@co.pierce.wi.us
Kelsi Winter
Michelle Klechefski

WIC
Brittany Mora - EXT 6568
brittany.mora@co.pierce.wi.us

 

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Pierce Co. Public Health

 

 

Birth to Three

 

The first three years of life are very important for any child’s future.   We know that so much learning and growth happens in the first three years of life.  The Birth to 3 Program provides support to families of children with developmental delays or disabilities under the age of three.

Who is Eligible

The Birth to Three program is for children ages birth to 36 months.  There are two ways children can be eligible for the Birth to Three Program:

The first way is if they have a diagnosed disability. 

The second way is if a significant delay in one or more areas of development is identified.

A team of people with specific training will evaluate the child’s ability to:

    • Learn (cognitive development)
    • Move, see, hear (physical and motor development)
    • Communicate and understand other’s communication (speech and language development)
    • Respond to and relate to other people (social and emotional development
    • Eat, dress and care for daily living needs (adaptive or self-help development)
What we offer
  • Screening: You can ask for a screening if you are wondering if your child is doing the things they should be for their age.  We may suggest a screening if we would like to know more about what the child’s skills are.  The screening is meant to tell us if the child should have further evaluation.
  • Evaluation and Assessment: An evaluation and/or assessment is completed to help us decide if the child is eligible for Birth to Three.  We will recommend an evaluation and/or assessment for a child when we believe they might be eligible for the program.
  • Service Coordination: All children who are eligible for Birth to Three will have a service coordinator who helps their family.  The service coordinator assists a family throughout their time in Birth to Three.  They can help locate other resources and help a family figure out what they need for their child.
  • Services specific to the child’s needs, which might include: Early Childhood Special Education, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy. The goal of these services is to assist your family in helping your child grow and develop.
How we provide services
Working together we offer services that may be very different from what you are expecting.   Our goal is to support parents/caregivers and help you feel like you know
  • how to help your child grow and develop within your daily routines.  We take this approach because we know that a young child is dependent upon their family and will learn many life skills from their family.   We know that children will develop skills through the interactions they have every day with their parents and caregivers.

The Birth to Three Program incorporates three components into the framework of services:


Natural learning environment practices

  • Natural learning environment practices, according to the law (Part C of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) mean that intervention services are provided in environments where the child participates.  Why?

Research tells us that young children learn best in familiar settings, when surrounded by the people they know and love, and have lots of opportunities for repetition.  Children will learn the skills they need by participating in activities that they are already doing at home (getting diaper changes, eating, or playing) and in community activities the family likes to do (going to the library, visiting Grandma and Grandpa).  These are everyday learning opportunities and they provide the child with lots of time to practice the skills they need to.  We have found that this approach offers the child many more opportunities to practice skills than a single weekly visit from a therapist or provider.  Additionally, parents report that they don’t feel like they need to take time out of their busy day to do “therapy” with their child because it is integrated into their day.  We feel that providing therapy without making it relevant and meaningful for the child and family is not effective. 


Coaching as an interaction style

  • Coaching is an evidence based adult learning style.  IDEA (the law) requires that we give parents the necessary tools they need to improve their child’s development.  Why? 

 Research tells us that a young child’s family has the most influence on how that child grows and develops.  How the family structures their day, what they value and their interests are just a few examples of things that will influence what a child learns.  The way we provide early intervention services is designed to take all of the unique features about the family and support them in figuring out how best to meet the needs of their child.  Through conversations and modeling, we work with them to share experiences, reflect on what works and doesn’t work and problem solve to come up with strategies and support that is most helpful for the child and family.

 
Primary coach approach to teaming

IDEA (the law) requires that early intervention services be comprehensive, coordinated and multidisciplinary. What does this mean? In a nutshell, services must include access to many professionals with a range of knowledge and skills. Why?

Children are complex and we have found it often requires many points of view to understand all that is happening with a child. Research tells us that a team approach is most effective, but that families do best when there is one primary individual that acts as the team liaison to support the parent. This primary individual (or coach as we call them) coordinates access to the entire team for the parent, works with the team through conversations and joint visits to get ideas and information that will be helpful to the child and caregiver. The family always has access to the knowledge and skills of professionals from other disciplines. Families report this style of interaction is less stressful to their family because it involves fewer visitors and appointments, while still having access to the professional knowledge they need to assist their child. In addition, they have reported that their services feel more coordinated and they aren't getting conflicting information from a variety of different disciplines.

Steps in the process
Your rights
Payment
  • The Birth to 3 Program is funded through many different sources.  The federal and state governments provide funding.  In addition, the county contributes money to pay for the program.  Families are asked to contribute to the program by providing consent to bill their insurance for some services.  In addition, we have a Parental Cost share system where some parents who have higher incomes will be asked to make a monthly payment.

For more information, please call:
Birth to Three Program Coordinator
Phone: 715-273-6759 
E-mail lisa.olson@co.pierce.wi.us  

Referral Sources

We encourage those who would like to make a referral to Birth to 3 to do so within 2 days of identification. There are several ways to make a referral:

Phone: 715-273-6759 or 715-273-6755

FAX: 715-273-6854

Complete referral form and FAX to us

Early Intervention Referral Guide for Pediatric Primary Care Givers

Additional Resources

Parent handbook

Wisconsin Birth to Three Program

First Signs

Centers for Disease Control

North Central Regional Resource Center (Click here to find out how Birth to Three Program is meeting outcomes for children)

Wisconsin First Steps (1-800-642-7837)