Physicians’ Network

The Collaboration launched the Physician’s Network in July 2008 to promote a stronger connection between the early childhood community and health practitioners and to increase their awareness of early childhood developmental issues and services. The Physicians’ Network meetings are held twice a year, in April and October and are organized by the Health and Development Committee, which is facilitated by the Collaboration’s Manager of Health and Development.

To see resources connected to past presentations, or to read Physicians’ Network Newsletters from our archive, click on the tabs and browse the linked materials. You can also visit our Physicians’ Network Events page to see full recordings of recent presentations.

Recent Presentations and Corresponding Newsletters

Past Presentations and Corresponding Newsletters

Physicians’ Network Newsletter Archive

View our newsletters paired with resources and the Physicians’ Network Event topic by clicking on the ‘Physicians’ Network Events and Newsletter’ tab.

Health Professionals’ Resources

The following information is categorized so that you can quickly find services and resources to help you support the children and families that you serve. Another tool is the Health Connection Hub, a database designed to expand the resource and referral network available to health and social service providers and community members.

Click on any topic to see more information. We also have an additional library of information that you can share with parents and caregivers about early intervention and early childhood special education.

Child Development

Supporting children’s healthy development. In addition to developmental screenings, there are a variety of resources that health professionals can share with parents to support their child’s healthy development and to better understand developmental milestones. Here are a couple places to start:

Developmental and Maternal Health Screening

A developmental screening is a brief check that provides a snapshot of a child’s communication, motor, cognitive, self-help and social-emotional skills. These screenings can indentify a child’s areas of strength; they can also determine whether a child’s development is appropriate for his or her age, and if a child’s development is on track. The CDC provides a helpful overview of developmental monitoring and screening:

The Collaboration provides training and technical assistance to health professionals to conduct developmental screenings through the Collaboration’s Developmental Screening Project:

Screening for autism in toddlers can be done using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F):

Maternal health includes the physical and mental health of women across the full spectrum of pregnancy, birth, and the first year postpartum.

Maternal depression (clinical depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth) affects as many as one in eight new mothers. Maternal depression is not the same thing as the “baby blues;” it is an illness that requires medical care and can be treated successfully. This illness impacts not only the mother, but the husband/partner, the baby, and the entire family unit. For more information, the National Institute for Mental Health provides extensive information about maternal/postpartum depression. Postpartum Progress, a non-profit organization, also has information and links to resources. Screening new mothers for mental health concerns can help mothers get the treatment that they need quickly so that they can focus on being a parent.

To screen mothers for mental health concerns:

Resources and networks that can be shared with new families to support postpartum mental health:

Early Childhood Mental Health

If you are seeking early childhood mental health resources to share with families, a good place to start would be the Erikson Institute’s Center for Children & Families.

Families can also be referred to us here at the Collaboration for Early Childhood. We can provide connections to resources and our Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant.

Early Intervention & Early Childhood Special Education

Early intervention is a term used to describe the services and supports that are available to babies and young children ages 0-3 with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. It includes speech therapy, physical therapy and other types of services based on the needs of the child and family. Here are some key resources to support families seeking early intervention services:

The Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Early Intervention coordinates services for children under 36 months of age through a network of Child and Family Connections (CFC) Offices. CFC 7 serves children living in West Suburban Cook County.

Early Childhood Special Education refers to services for children, three through five years of age with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. Services are provided through local school districts and special education cooperatives. Here are some key resources to support families seeking early childhood special education services:

Other resources for young children with disabilities or developmental delays:

If families have concerns about their child’s development, the first step is to schedule a developmental screening to see where their child is at and to assess whether early intervention or early childhood special education services are needed. To share more about screenings with families, visit the “Developmental and Maternal Health Screening” tab on this page.

Important Hotline Numbers

  • National Postpartum Depression (PPD) MOMS HELPLINE: 1-800 773-6667 OR (800) PPDMOMS
  • Fussy Baby Network: 1-888-431-2229 (888-431-BABY)
  • American Association of Poison Control Centers (24/7): 1-800-222-1222
  • Illinois Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-25A-BUSE (1-800-252-2873); TTY 1-800-358-5117
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7): 1-800-799-7233; hearing impaired: 1-855-812-1001; TTY: 1-800-787-3224. Online chat is also available everyday from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. central time at
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7): 1-800-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Online chat is also available.
  • Pillars 24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 708-485-5254
  • Pillars 24 Hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 708-482-9600
  • Thrive Counseling Center 24/7 Crisis Team: 708-383-7500
  • The Veteran’s Crisis Line (24/7): 1-800-273-8255 and press 1; or text 838255.

Standardized Illinois Early Intervention Referral Form

The Standardized Illinois Early Intervention Referral Form should be completed by the referring party (i.e. a physician or early childhood care and education provider) with the parent or guardian. Be sure to check (√) the appropriate boxes in Section 4 and have the parent or guardian complete and sign Section 6. This will allow the referring party to receive information about the outcome of the referral.

Fax the completed form to the appropriate Child and Family Connections (CFC) office. See the list of CFC service areas and fax #s on pages 7-10 of the Collaboration’s Developmental Referral & Services Directory.
The West Cook County area, which includes Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park, is CFC 7. The CFC 7 fax # is (708) 449-7071 or (708) 449-7173.

CFC will assign the family a service coordinator who must contact the family (usually by phone) within 2 business days. Please share this information with the parent or guardian and let them know to expect a phone call.

Support a strong start and a bright future.

We champion high-quality early childhood care and learning experiences and support for families so all children develop their full potential.