The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
36-697. Health start program; administration
A. Subject to appropriated monies the health start program is established in the department of health services. The program shall serve pregnant women, children and their families. The program shall be statewide, based in identified neighborhoods and delivered by lay health workers through prescheduled home visits or prescheduled group classes that begin before the child's birth or during the postnatal period and that may continue until the child is two years of age. The department shall establish the criteria to be used in evaluating communities and neighborhoods to be served by competing program proposals. The evaluation criteria shall include at a minimum a high incidence of the following:
1. Inadequate prenatal care.
2. Inadequate infant health care.
3. Infants who at birth weigh less than one thousand five hundred grams and who require more than seventy-two hours of neonatal intensive care.
4. Inadequate early childhood immunizations.
B. The department shall establish at a minimum the following goals for the program:
1. Reduce the incidence of infants who at birth weigh less than one thousand five hundred grams and who require more than seventy-two hours of neonatal intensive care.
2. Reduce the incidence of children affected by childhood diseases.
3. Increase the number of children receiving age appropriate immunizations by two years of age.
4. Increase awareness by educating families:
(a) On the importance of good nutritional habits to improve the overall health of their children.
(b) On the need for developmental assessments to promote the early identification of learning disabilities, physical disabilities or behavioral health needs.
(c) Of the benefits of preventative health care and the need for screening examinations such as hearing and vision.
5. Increase prenatal care services to pregnant women.
C. The department shall:
1. Develop program criteria and staff training requirements.
2. Contract with local private and public agencies to recruit and train lay health workers.
3. Enter into interagency agreements to maximize funding for the program.
4. Distribute the Arizona children and families resource directory compiled under section 36-698 to hospitals for distribution to the families of any newly born child in order to help them answer questions concerning early childhood development.
5. Link program participants to programs that reduce illiteracy, reduce dependency on welfare, encourage employment, encourage self-sufficiency and encourage community involvement by program participants through community service, employment or participation in religious or social organizations.
6. Develop employment guidelines for program personnel that include background checks for those personnel who will have direct contact with pregnant women or families or who will have access to program participant records.
D. The program, through lay health workers, shall:
1. Identify, screen and enroll pregnant women in the lay health worker's neighborhood or community.
2. Inform program participants of how to receive prenatal care services.
3. Assist program participants to access appropriate prenatal care.
4. Educate program participants on appropriate prenatal and neonatal care, preventative health care and child wellness, including appropriate nutritional habits to improve the overall health of their children.
5. Assist and encourage program participants to provide age appropriate immunizations so that their children are fully immunized by two years of age.
6. Provide participants with a list of local private, both nonprofit and for profit, providers and governmental agencies providing the services included in paragraphs 1 through 5 of this subsection.
E. Program services shall not be provided under this section unless:
1. Participation in the program is initiated in response to a request by a potential program participant.
2. A verbal explanation of the program is provided to program participants including an explanation of the rights and responsibilities of both the participant and the program provider.
3. The written, informed consent of the program participants is received. The consent form shall include at least a clear description of the program including the activities and information to be provided by the program during prescheduled home visits or prescheduled group classes, the number of expected home visits and prescheduled group classes, the right of program participants to terminate participation in the program at any time, any responsibilities of the program participants, a statement that a record will be made and maintained of the visits and sessions and may be available in future court proceedings, and any other information that is necessary to convey to the program participants a clear understanding of the program.
4. If the contact occurs at the primary residence of the potential program participant, program personnel do not enter the residence during the initial contact without that person's permission.
F. If the potential program participant is a minor living with the minor's parent or guardian, home visits shall not be provided under this section without the additional written consent of the parent or guardian.
G. Program participants have access to the records on their own family at all times and have the right to correct any inaccurate information included in the records. Records, except for nonidentifiable demographic characteristics, shall be destroyed five years after the participant's last involvement in the program. Program records are not available to other government agencies or programs in the department without specific prior written consent by the program participant for the release of information in the program participant's records.