Colorado Communities Advancing Children’s Social-Emotional Health

The Need.

The early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for school readiness and future success. Early emotional experiences impact children’s ability to learn and thrive at home and in school. Yet approximately 30% of children by the age of 8 are not on track with their social and emotional development as exhibited by self-control, good interpersonal skills and no behavioral problems.

The Focus.

LAUNCH Together supports Colorado communities in expanding evidence-based prevention and promotion strategies and building coordinated systems to support the wellness of children, prenatal through age 8, and their families with a focus on behavioral health and social and emotional development. The privately-funded LAUNCH Together initiative is inspired and informed by the experiences and outcomes of the SAMHSA’s Project LAUNCH initiative. To learn more about SAMHSA’s Project LAUNCH, visit:

The Strategy.

LAUNCH Together aims to 1) invest in communities to plan and implement effective community-based strategies and train professionals in a variety of settings; 2) bring together public and private partners to communicate what works, raise awareness and support policy changes to sustain effective community practices; and 3) evaluate the project and provide technical assistance to grantees.



9.12.16  LAUNCH Together Implementation Communities Selected 

Four Colorado communities were selected to receive LAUNCH Together implementation grants. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pueblo, Denver’s Early Childhood Council, ECHO & Family Center Early Childhood Council and Chaffee County Early Childhood Council, and Jefferson Center for Mental Health, in partnership with community stakeholders, were each awarded up to $2 million for a LAUNCH Together implementation grant to expand evidence-based prevention and promotion practices and enhance coordinated community systems.

Publicly available resources can be accessed through the Resources section below.

Access Partners Portal through Big Tent ›


LAUNCH Together has many resources to help communities in creating their vision for advancing the social and emotional health of young children and their families. Click on the link to view and download these valuable materials.



  • + What is LAUNCH Together?

    LAUNCH Together is a first in the nation public-private partnership designed to improve the social, emotional, behavioral, physical and cognitive outcomes for young children (prenatal through age eight) and their families in Colorado. LAUNCH Together supports communities across the state in enhancing existing evidence-based prevention and health promotion practices AND building more coordinated community systems. Partnerships are the cornerstone of the LAUNCH Together initiative. Leaders from health and mental health, early childhood and family support are empowered to partner to create better infrastructure, streamline services and supports and infuse early childhood mental health knowledge across a variety of settings. Five key strategies guide communities in creating a vision for early childhood social-emotional health with a focus on the reduction of physical and mental health disparities, especially among vulnerable populations:

    • Enhanced home visiting through a focus on social and emotional well-being
    • Screening and assessment in a range of child-serving settings
    • Integration of behavioral health into primary care
    • Mental health consultation in early care and education settings
    • Family strengthening and parent skills training

    LAUNCH Together is inspired by the experiences and outcomes of Project LAUNCH partners, a nationwide project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition to the five key strategies, evaluation, professional development and public awareness are critical components of LAUNCH Together.

  • + Is there a need for early childhood social-emotional systems and programs in Colorado?

    Yes. Mental health is a key component in a child’s development. Children need to be mentally and physically healthy in order to learn, grow and lead productive lives. Social-emotional and mental health challenges are surprisingly common among young children with an estimated 30 percent of children not on track with their social and emotional development by age eight. In a national study, 16 percent of parents reported concerns about their children’s emotions, concentration or behavior. Of these concerns, 64 percent were identified as moderate or severe, yet only 25 percent of parents sought counseling or treatment. LAUNCH Together aims to build on existing efforts and promising strategies to bolster communities to promote social-emotional health and well-being of children and their families.

  • + What is the vision for LAUNCH Together?

    LAUNCH Together fuels community collaboration for improved social-emotional health and development programs and systems for Colorado children so they may thrive in school and beyond. LAUNCH Together drives public-private partnerships to better address gaps in early childhood programs and systems to improve the social, emotional, behavioral, physical and cognitive development of young children at the community and state levels.

  • + What's the difference between Project LAUNCH, Colorado Project LAUNCH, and LAUNCH Together?

    Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is a national initiative administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that began in 2008 and has funded a total of 55 sites, including states, tribes, territories and communities. Two communities in Colorado have received Project LAUNCH funding over the past five years. In 2010, the Weld Systems Navigation Project in Weld County was the first grantee in Colorado to receive a federally funded Project LAUNCH grant award. In 2014, a second federally funded Project LAUNCH grant was awarded to the state of Colorado in partnership with Adams County Early Childhood Partnership.

    Colorado Project LAUNCH, or COPL, is supported by federal Project LAUNCH funding and describes the Colorado-specific partnership between the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County (ECPAC). This five-year grant award supports work at the state-level in addition to Adams County, with an increased emphasis on children and families with less-equitable health outcomes.

    LAUNCH Together is a privately-funded initiative designed to replicate and expand the system and program successes of prior federally-funded efforts. Colorado is the only state to mobilize private partners and resources in a unique collaboration for early childhood social-emotional development.

    To briefly summarize the three distinct, but collaborative efforts Project LAUNCH is a federally funded project governed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Colorado Project LAUNCH (COPL) is a grantee of the federal Project Launch guided by the Project LAUNCH tenets and requirements. LAUNCH Together is a privately-funded initiative inspired by Project LAUNCH. Colorado is the only state to mobilize private partners and resources in a unique collaboration for early childhood social-emotional development.

    To learn more about LAUNCH Together, visit: To learn more about Project LAUNCH, visit:

  • + Who oversees and funds LAUNCH Together?

    This opportunity is possible through a collaboration of eight Colorado-based foundations: The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, Buell Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, Community First Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, The Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments and Rose Community Foundation. Early Milestones Colorado is the lead agency for the project and oversees the program operations, technical assistance and communications aspects of LAUNCH Together.

  • + How is is LAUNCH Together funding awarded?

    LAUNCH Together Phase I Community Planning grants were awarded to seven grantees through a competitive selection process. Selected grantees are responsible for completing an environmental scan, strategic plan and community readiness assessment.

    LAUNCH Together Phase II Implementation grants will be awarded to approximately four grantees for up to $2,000,000 per community over four years. Only Phase I Community Planning grantees are eligible to apply. Selection is competitive. Grantees will implement their strategic plan over the course of four years focusing on both services/programs and systems.

  • + When will LAUNCH Together RFPs be released?

    The Phase I Community Planning RFP was released August 17, 2015 and grants were awarded on December 1, 2015. The Phase II Community Implementation RFP will be released in May 2016. Only Phase I Community Planning grantees are eligible to apply for Phase II Community Implementation grants.

  • + Who should I contact to learn more about LAUNCH Together?

    Morgan Janke
    Project Director, LAUNCH Together
    Early Milestones Colorado
    165 Madison Street, Denver, CO 80206
    720-573-4721 (direct)

    Molly Yost
    Technical Assistance & Policy Manager, LAUNCH Together
    Early Milestones Colorado
    165 Madison Street, Denver, CO 80206
    720-573-4719 (direct)


LAUNCH Together is funded through a unique collaboration between eight Colorado-based foundations.