Cycling through Preconception, Prenatal, and Interconception Care: A Brief Report from the Palm Beach County Family Study
For more than a decade, Florida’s Palm Beach County has been building a system of prevention and early intervention services to promote and support the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth to age 8. The county began this effort with a set of programs focused on serving families in four targeted geographic areas that have high levels of risk for poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, and child maltreatment. The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County commissioned Chapin Hall to conduct a longitudinal mixed-methods evaluation of how families use and are affected by this system of services. This paper discusses the importance of preconceptional and interconceptional health care to improving birth outcomes and child development and then presents selected findings from the study about how Palm Beach County families use general health care, prenatal care, and family planning services. It also discusses the individual and programmatic factors that affect their use of health services and provides suggestions for improving their access to health services.