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BRIDGE Framework: Strengthening Connections to Support Families

The process of identifying and following up on a concern about a child’s development can be overwhelming to a parent. That, combined with having to navigate the complex systems that oversee the delivery of therapeutic services, can be a complex and often isolating process.

Further, when a provider completes a developmental screening and identifies the need for further assessment, it can require significant and ongoing case management to ensure a child successfully receives an evaluation and intervention.


Recognizing this multifaceted and complex process, TLC’s guiding philosophy strengthens the relationship between parent, provider and TLC in a transactional support and interdisciplinary team manner – to ensure parents and caregivers feel supported, and also to ensure that vulnerable children do not fall through the cracks. Within this framework of partnership, providers can have the confidence to know that their pediatric patients are receiving the same high-quality standard of care that they provide.

Just as a bridge in nature connects two foundations, TLC’s BRIDGE philosophy connects the most critical people on a child’s journey to optimize health and well-being and develop more independence. The Building Relationships and Interdisciplinary Care to Guide Parents and Empower Families, or BRIDGE for short, model connects a child’s healthcare team members and connects the dots for parents and caregivers to understand the concerns identified in their child’s developmental profile, and also to develop the confidence and skills to be an active participant in their child’s development, health and well-being. This approach ensures collaborative care management and transactional support for families with children birth-5, the primary care provider, and their pediatric therapeutic team. By developing shared goals, all team members are able to contribute to the optimization of child and family outcomes.

The BRIDGE approach emphasizes hands on participation with parents and caregivers, utilizing evidence based coaching methods to facilitate increased engagement between child and caregiver. As well, parents are supported in developing the skills and confidence to encourage a child’s development within the home and community settings. TLC promotes the development of parents’ strong relationships across service organizations so that parents feel proficient at communicating their child’s needs and navigating the system. Recognizing that accessing other necessary services for a child can be a complicated process, TLC empowers parents to develop the advocacy skills necessary to become their child’s strongest advocate.

With the seeds of the BRIDGE framework being planted in 2001, the official framework of BRIDGE developed in 2014 in partnership with First 5 LA and Eisner Health. First 5 LA applied BRIDGE learnings to inform the First 5 LA First Connections Project. First Connections program began as a three-year project to address system barriers and reduce disparities in screening young children for Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays. Given the success of the program, First Connections was extended through June 2020 with promising best practices and strong partnerships that continue to inform other critical systems delivering early identification and intervention (EII), including Help Me Grow-Los Angeles (HMG-LA).

TLC Pediatric Therapy is proud to have produced a video with First 5 LA informed the First 5 LA board’s decision to extend funding or two additional years across 6 grantee partners in LA County. The strong partnership between First 5 LA and TLC Pediatric Therapy continues and and with BRIDGE’s significant success, CHLA is actively studying and analyzing the model. BRIDGE continues to be highly regarded as a valuable program and framework that sets the standard for systems of care for children and families in Los Angeles.

If a family of a birth-5 child you know would benefit from this approach, please complete the first step of the therapy process to schedule a consultation with a TLC Patient Care Coordinator. Or, if you are a community provider or organization, please contact us at to discuss opportunities for care collaboration.