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DBHDS News Releases

For Immediate Release:  December 16, 2009
[ link to pdf ]

City of Winchester, in Partnership with the Grafton School, Chosen as Early Intervention “Part C” Local Lead Agency for the Shenandoah Valley

Richmond –  The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) announced today that it has contracted with a new lead agency to manage Part C services in the Shenandoah Valley. The City of Winchester, through its Department of Social Services, will partner with the Grafton School in Winchester to provide early intervention services for local infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities. 

Part C services have been running through the DBHDS Central Office in Richmond since December 2008. Despite not having a local lead agency during the past year, services continued and the child count has increased 28 percent. 

“We applaud Winchester for managing these important services for young children in the Shenandoah Valley, and the Grafton School for its collaboration in these efforts,” said DBHDS Assistant Commissioner for Services and Supports Frank Tetrick. “The early intervention services provided by Part C funds help strengthen the families and the futures of young children with special needs.”  

A public awareness campaign will be launched by the Grafton School to let families and referral sources know about the shift in service management from the state to the local community. The Grafton School is a private, nonprofit organization that serves children, adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, emotional disturbances and other psychiatric diagnoses. However, children do not need to have specific diagnoses to qualify for services.   

Managed by DBHDS, Part C provides federal funds to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities, minimize the need for special education or institutionalization through early intervention, and help families meet their child’s individual needs. Most private insurance and Medicaid cover early intervention services. Families participate in costs based on their income and ability to pay. No family will be denied service because of an inability to pay. Infants and toddlers who are eligible include those with a 25 percent or greater delay in one or more developmental area(s):cognitive, adaptive, receptive or expressive language, social/emotional, fine motor, gross motor, vision, hearing development, those with atypical development, and those with a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.


Available to citizens statewide, Virginia’s public mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services system is comprised of 40 community services boards (CSBs) and 16 state facilities. DBHDS seeks to promote dignity, choice, recovery, and the highest possible level of participation in work, relationships, and all aspects of community life for individuals with a mental illness, intellectual disability or a substance-use disorder. 

1220 Bank Street P.O. Box 1797 Richmond, Virginia 23218-1797
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