In 2021, the HMG National Center embarked on a project to explore and enhance the capacity of states and territories to improve the collection, management, interpretation, and dissemination of data related to developmental progress and early identification of young children with developmental delays or disabilities.

The project quickly discovered a lack of shared understanding of developmental monitoring, as well as no universal strategies to employ its associated activities, and no standard metric for measuring those activities or their impact. Additionally, information in the research literature on developmental monitoring is lacking when compared to screening. One reason for this discrepancy may be that screening, referral, and linkage activities are better defined than the activities associated with developmental monitoring. 

To address these gaps, HMG National developed a new Roadmap for Advancing Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring (The Roadmap).

The Roadmap establishes:

  • What family-engaged developmental monitoring is
  • What family-engaged developmental monitoring looks like in practice
  • Why family-engaged developmental monitoring is important for child and family outcomes


What is Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring?

FEDM is defined as an intentional partnership of families and providers working to highlight a child’s developmental progress and identify opportunities for support and education for positive outcomes. The three essential attributes of FEDM include:

  • Families are regarded as the expert on their child’s development
  • Information is gathered to inform a holistic approach to the child’s development
  • Developmental progress and needs are discussed over time

Family-engaged developmental monitoring establishes a shared understanding of best practice across the early childhood field and the families it serves. Inclusion of “family-engaged” in the terminology centers families as experts about their child and equal partners in the process.

Click Here for Tools to Apply Family-Engaged
Developmental Monitoring in Your Work