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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award

Northwest Kansas Council on Substance Abuse
Healthy Social Emotional Development of Young Children in Northwest Kansas

2015 Recipient
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

Northwest Kansas Council on Substance Abuse has been highly successful in screening, identifying, and referring young children with social emotional concerns living in very rural and frontier regions of northwest Kansas, a place where it can be challenging to coordinate services. NWKCSA was awarded a Young Children's Mental Health planning grant in 2013 to determine their strategic plan and goals to address the social emotional health of children from zero to age six in twelve rural counties—Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Graham, Wallace, Logan, Gove, Trego, and Norton. With the assistance of many regional partners, including Smart Start Northwest Kansas, the program has achieved remarkable success in screening children in such a large service area.

From 2013 to the present, NWKCSA has screened at least 3,000 children using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE) tool and over 400 women using the Edinburgh postpartum depression tool. In 2015, their total ASQ-SE screenings of 1,698 meant they had reached 58% of all children in the 0-6 age cohort. They have succeeded in getting various providers to do screenings through the cloud-based, ASQ Enterprise System, which is just one reason they have recorded such extraordinary numbers. Additionally, their strong partnerships have escalated their success in project implementation working with local mental health providers, early childhood providers, and physicians (a difficult group for many projects in other areas of Kansas) to recognize the importance of early screening and provide training to incorporate the ASQ:SE screening within their facilities. 

Partnering with the local mental health providers, NWKCSA has worked to build capacity for mental health providers to serve young children who are identified during the ASQ:SE screening.  Furthermore, they have provided additional training, resources, and education to parents and families on early childhood development including topics such as infant brain development, early literacy skills, and postpartum depression information.  With these accomplishments and for leadership in early childhood mental health in rural and frontier regions of Kansas, Northwest Kansas Council on Substance Abuse is presented the 2015 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Recognition award for its project titled “Healthy Social Emotional Development of Young Children in Northwest Kansas.”


Representing the project at the awards ceremony were Sue Evans, Executive Director of Northwest Kansas Council on Substance Abuse; Maureen Ostmeyer, Smart Start Northwest Kansas Project Director; and Northwest Kansas Council on Substance Abuse Board Members: Penny Arnoldy, Board President and Kathy Ryan.

Awarded May 3, 2016

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award