Protecting and improving the health of our community.

District 4 Public health Logo

Public Health Emergencies

1-866-PUB-HLTH, 24/7

Health Department Appointment

1-800-847-4262 or

Make an Appointment Online

WIC Appointment

706-298-6080 or


District 4 Public health Logo

Protecting and improving the health of our community.

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Services
  4.  » 
  5. Child Health
  6.  » Children’s Special Programs
Call for An Appointment
Public Health Career

Children’s Special Programs

District 4 Public Health - CHILDREN'S SPECIAL PROGRAM

For Current Georgia Medicaid Members:
Unwinding the COVID-19 Medicaid Continuous Coverage requirement begins on April 1, 2023.

  • States have 12 months to complete eligibility redeterminations for all Medicaid beneficiaries. For members who are no longer eligible, benefits will be terminated.
  • Redetermination or renewal is the process that Georgia must follow to make sure all Medicaid members including PeachCare for Kids and Katie Beckett are still eligible for coverage. It involves collecting and verifying information, including income and contact details, as well as other requested information or documents related to determining eligibility.

Update your current account or create an account at to stay in the know about your Medicaid status. You can schedule an in-person visit for support at your local Division of Family and Children Services office. To find the location and business hours for your local office, visit

If you need help reading this information or communicating with us, call 1-877-GA-DHS-GO (877-423-4746). Our services, including interpreters, are free. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking, you can call us at the number above by dialing 711 (Georgia Relay).

If you think you or your child will lose Medicaid due to income going up, you may still be eligible for coverage through the Affordable Care Act.  The special enrollment period for the marketplace is March 31, 2023, to June 2024 at


Children’s Special Programs

District 4 participates in the following statewide programs to support children with special needs and their families.

Anyone can refer children to the following special needs programs, whether you are a parent, physician, teacher, social worker or childcare provider. Complete this referral form, then send it to District 4 Public Health via:

Please keep in mind that communications via email over the internet are not secure. Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility that information you include in an email can be intercepted and read by other parties besides the person to whom it is addressed.

Children 1st

Children 1st is the first step needed for children and families to access District 4 programs that screen for and assist with developmental delays. Children 1st is the point of entry for all patients participating in our Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program, Babies Can’t Wait and Children’s Medical Services.


Children 1st helps by providing developmental screening and a family needs assessment before referring children to our community-based programs and resources. If children are accepted into Children 1st before they are five years old, they may be able to receive the care they need from some of our other programs until they are 21.

Some children are at greater risk for developmental delay due to medical conditions or environmental factors. These may include:

  • very low birth weight
  • cleft palate
  • speech or language disorder
  • autism
  • microcephaly
  • lack of housing
  • insufficient prenatal care
  • unemployed parent
  • incarcerated parent
  • parent under 18

If you have concerns about a child’s growth, click here to track expected developmental milestones in early childhood.


Children 1st services are provided FREE to families. To participate in Children 1st, the child must be under five years old and either have or be at risk for developmental delays.

Children 1st Resources

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program screens newborns before they leave the hospital, which is essential for the earliest possible identification of hearing loss. Without newborn screening, hearing loss is not typically identified until the child is two years old. The sooner you act, the better the outcome.

A child’s first year is the most crucial period for language development. Early screening for hearing loss ensures early treatment, providing sound stimulation for your baby’s brain and aiding with the development of language and communication, as well as education and reading potential.


This program offers:

  • Screening for hearing loss in birthing hospital
  • Referral for rescreening
  • Referral for diagnostic audiological evaluation
  • Connection to appropriate hearing-loss intervention program
  • Technical assistance and training for health care providers


If your baby is 3 months old or younger and has not already received 2 hearing screens, please call the number below for assistance.

For more information, call 706-298-7760.

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Resources 

Babies Can't Wait

The Babies Can’t Wait program serves children under 3 years old who have special needs, developmental delays or chronic health conditions. We provide screening for developmental concerns, in which we can evaluate physical and cognitive health, motor skills, communication, social/emotional growth and adaptive development.

A child’s brain develops most rapidly during their first 3 years, so it is a critical period for detecting developmental delays before they become barriers to healthy development. One in six children in the United States have developmental disabilities, and even more experience delays in language and cognition. These conditions require extra intervention to support the child’s growth and prepare them for success in school.

When it comes to addressing developmental delays, Babies Can’t Wait takes a multi-disciplinary approach. We work with physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, special instructors and service coordinators to improve the child’s development potential and meet the family’s needs.


Referred clients are assigned a service coordinator, who supports families with intervention services, training, resources and referrals in the community. In the Babies Can’t Wait program, services can take place in the home, childcare center, community center or virtual platform to suit the client’s needs. This program offers:

  • Evaluations and assessments (provided for free)
  • Personal Service Coordinator (provided for free)
  • Child development plans
  • Referrals for:
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Psychological services
    • Speech/language therapy
    • Social work/counseling
    • Behavioral intervention


This program serves babies 0-36 months (under 3 years) with developmental delays and/or certain diagnosed conditions that have a high probability of resulting in delays (such as blindness, Down syndrome, autism and spina bifida).

Evaluations and service coordination is provided FREE to referred clients, and all other services have a sliding scale fee based on need. Participants are eligible to receive early intervention services regardless of income.

Babies Can’t Wait Resources 

Children's Medical Services

The Children’s Medical Services program coordinates access to affordable, quality care. If your child, age 0-21, is in need of specialty services due to chronic medical conditions, we will be there through every step of their health care journey.

District 4 offers a supportive, family-focused and culturally caring approach. Our goal is to provide families with options, helping you navigate the comprehensive system of services and resources for special needs. The program offers information and advice to help families determine how much assistance a child needs as they transition to adulthood. Some will be encouraged to be independent and responsible for their own care and others will need guardianship or other supports with decision making.

Children’s Medical Services offers support to help the family manage the child’s specialty appointments. We also work with their primary and specialty medical specialists to provide or coordinate for:

  • Genetic counseling
  • Inpatient/outpatient hospitalization
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Medications and supplies
  • Diagnostic testing

Click here to learn more about our Children’s Medical Services program. Spanish.


Children’s Medical Services begins at District 4 and connects you to resources throughout the community. Some of our services include:

  • Screening and referrals to specialty care
  • Referrals to health coverage and community resources
  • Care coordination
  • CMS orthopedic clinics for health, durable medical equipment (DME) and orthotics management


Children’s Medical Services assists youth from birth to age 21 with an eligible chronic medical condition, including but not limited to:

    • Asthma, cystic fibrosis and other lung disorders
    • Neurological disorders including seizures, benign tumors, hydrocephalus, and others
    • Orthopedic and/or neuromuscular disorders including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, scoliosis, clubfeet, congenital or traumatic amputations of limbs, and others
    • Some vision and hearing disorders
    • Diabetes and other endocrine and genetic disorders
    • Craniofacial anomalies such as cleft lip/palate
    • Congenital cardiac conditions

For more information, questions or referrals, call 706.298.7760.

Children’s Medical Services Resources