Online Program

Beyond the language barrier: Facilitating immigrant and refugee access to early intervention services in Philadelphia through interpreting, translation, and quality control

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Jorge Navarrete, MPH, ChildLink, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Philadelphia, PA
Sara Molina-Robinson, ChildLink, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Under contract from the City of Philadelphia, ChildLink is Philadelphia County’s early intervention program for children, from birth to age three, with developmental delays and disabilities.  ChildLink facilitates the provision of supports and service to qualifying children and their families within the County free of charge.  Given its geographic scope, a major
metropolitan area, ChildLink has also served thousands of immigrant and refugee households.

In 2005, ChildLink established an internal system to guarantee quality of interpreting and translation services for parents/caregivers with limited English proficiency (LEP). Today, all phone calls with LEP parents/caregivers include a telephonic interpreter, all in-person appointments have an interpreter present, and all written correspondence and requested documentation are provided in the household’s native language, and translated by a certified translator versus automatic online translation.  Staff is routinely trained in how to request interpreting and translations services and how to work with interpreters effectively.  As a result, since 2005, ChildLink has served almost 3000 LEP households.  Currently, the program serves 354 LEP households out of 3294 total households; services have been provided in over 20 languages.  The lessons learned thus far have been: an organizational commitment to access for children and families regardless of native language or country of origin ensures the ongoing participation of LEP communities and upholds a basic human right, and builds trust and credibility, which can facilitate future initiatives among immigrant and refugee communities; and the program’s experience is scalable and applicable to other providers serving these demographic groups.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the measures that providers of early intervention services can implement to increase and sustain the participation of immigrant and refugee families. Demonstrate the appearance of new immigrant groups by language in a given geographic target area and their participation in early intervention services.

Keyword(s): Underserved Populations, Children With Special Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator of interpreting and translation services for Philadelphia County's early intervention services program for children under age three and their families. I designed the program's internal process for contracting interpreters and translators. I train staff on how to utilize language services effectively and maintain quality assurance of those services. I am certified as a "Bridging the Gap" healthcare interpreter. I am fluent in two languages and proficient in four.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.