A Simple Guide to BabyNet in South Carolina

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South Carolina is one of the states that offers a statewide early intervention program for babies and toddlers with developmental delays. Early intervention is available from birth to age six, but those children who are under thirty-six months old fall into a special program. This program is part of a federal initiative called the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Part C, but here in South Carolina, we have a simple name for it that’s easy to remember. It’s called BabyNet. 

The BabyNet program has a unique backstory here in SC. A very important thing to know is that the program currently operates as what’s called an “interagency system”. This means it’s a partnership between our state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN).

The SC state agencies who provide BabyNet

In case you’re unfamiliar with the two South Carolina state agencies who provide BabyNet, here’s a quick description of them with a link to their websites. Both agencies do a lot for our state, and BabyNet is just one part of their work.  

SCDHHS administers Healthy Connections, the state’s Medicaid program, which is a joint state-federal program that provides healthcare for about one million low-income, elderly and disabled residents each year.  

https://www.scdhhs.gov/

SCDSSN plans, develops, oversees, and funds services for South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities. Their mission is to assist people with disabilities and their families in meeting needs, pursuing possibilities and achieving life goals, and to minimize the occurrence and reduce the severity of disabilities through prevention.

https://ddsn.sc.gov/

What does BabyNet do in SC?

For infants and toddlers under three years of age (under 36 months) with developmental delays or conditions associated with developmental delays, BabyNet can help in two key ways. 

#1 – BabyNet can help evaluate a child’s developmental progress at no cost to the family, and evaluate his/her eligibility for other additional disability services. 

#2 – If eligible for additional services, BabyNet will help connect the child and family to providers of professional disability services and resources available to them. 

To help an eligible child with disabilities, BabyNet lets the family choose a local professional service provider to help out. This process of helping a child and their family is called “early intervention”, and it’s the main reason BabyNet exists. Early intervention helps the child and the family grow towards the best possible quality of life and future prospects for that child. 

We here at Bright Start are one of these local professional providers of disability services. We are highly rated and employ trained early intervention specialists to meet your child’s needs. We’ve been serving South Carolina for more than twenty-two years, and currently we serve children with disabilities and their families in twenty-five counties all across South Carolina. It’s our passion and pride to serve SC in this way. 

So if you’d like for our team to work with you and your child, just be sure to request Bright Start as your chosen service provider when you start receiving services from BabyNet. 

Who qualifies for BabyNet in South Carolina?

The most important qualifications for BabyNet services is that a child must meet the following conditions: 

  • Be under 36 months of age. 
  • Show signs of developmental difficulties with walking, talking, hearing, thinking, or socializing.

There are a few other eligibility requirements too, but don’t worry. After you apply for BabyNet services, a BabyNet staff person will be able to help explain it all, guide you through the process, and help you understand any eligibility details specific to your child’s situation. 

Does BabyNet cost money?

There is no cost to apply and see if your child is eligible, and there is no cost to receive services from BabyNet. The staff at BabyNet will help you understand how the services your child needs can be covered by insurance (if you have it), or by Medicaid, or by federal and state funds to ensure your BabyNet costs are completely covered for you. 

How do you get a BabyNet referral? 

The process of applying for BabyNet services and seeing if you are eligible is called a “referral”. This referral process is free and does not cost anything. If you think your baby (or a baby that you know) may perhaps qualify for BabyNet’s disability services, you may click below to refer a child online using BabyNet’s online referral portal on their website. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always discuss this with your child’s pediatrician before applying. In fact, they may be able to help, and make the referral process a bit easier for you and child.  

Refer a Child to BabyNet >

Choosing Bright Start as your BabyNet Service Provider

After you have applied to BabyNet by submitting your referral, and after your child has been approved eligible for early intervention services, you will be asked to choose a local service provider to work with you and your child. Our team here at Bright Start would be proud to assist you. Our friendly and professional specialists are trained to help you and your child with all his/her developmental delays. All services are available within the comfort and convenience of your own home.

But remember, you’ll just need to ask for Bright Start as your chosen service provider, and then BabyNet will be able to connect you with us as your provider.

Learn more about our SC Early Intervention Services on our website at: 

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