The Developmental Screening and Enhancement Program (DSEP) addresses the developmental and social-emotional needs of children birth to 5 years, 11 months upon entry into the child welfare system. DSEP’s developmental specialists provide services at Polinsky Children’s Center and in the homes of foster parents or relative caregivers.

In 2012, DSEP was named a Program of Excellence by Jackson Healthcare.

DSEP provides services for children in foster care, free of charge, which include:

  • Developmental and social-emotional screenings
  • Referrals to other RCHSD departments for further evaluations if deemed necessary after the initial screening (e.g. comprehensive developmental evaluation; physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, and/or audiology evaluations).
  • Referrals to recommended early intervention and treatment services
  • Case management to help children connect to recommended services
  • Education for foster families, relatives, and social workers
  • Consultation and training for care providers at Polinsky Children’s Center

DSEP is a collaborative effort that is supported by funds from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, Promises 2 Kids (formerly the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation), and First 5 San Diego (Proposition 10 tobacco tax).