How to Have a Productive Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

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As a parent, your participation in the planning and delivery of early intervention services is vital!

If you have concerns about your child’s development, call Families Together for information on your local infant-toddler program. It may be necessary for a multidisciplinary evaluation to be done. Your input, opinions, and ideas will be included in the evaluation.

The evaluation will include five developmental domains:

  • Physical development including health, vision, hearing and motor
  • Cognitive development
  • Communication, language and speech development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Adaptive development

If your child has qualifying needs in any of these areas, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be written by a team that includes you. An IFSP is designed to be family-centered with the focus on the family as a supportive unit around the child. The IFSP is a written plan for providing early intervention services.

To help make your child’s IFSP appropriate, you should review all the information you have about your child including developmental, medical, social, and genetic information. This will help you identify your child’s strengths, needs and appropriate services for achieving success. An IFSP is reviewed every six months and evaluated annually. The location and time should be agreed upon by the family and should be held at a convenient time and place.

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the IFSP to include:

Information about your child’s current developmental level in the five domains;

  • Information about your family’s resources, priorities and concerns;
  • A statement of the expected, measurable results or outcomes developed and written by the IFSP team;
  • The criteria, procedures and timelines used to determine progress and whether modifications of the services and supports are necessary;
  • For each date of service, including length, duration, frequency and method must be included;
  • A description of the natural environment in which these services will be provided;
  • The name of the Family Service Coordinator;
  • A listing of any other services needed.

What are natural environments?

Natural environments are settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disability. This includes those individuals who typically interact with the child on a regular basis. Examples of natural environment settings include the home or community settings in which children without disabilities participate.

Transitioning at Three

At least ninety days prior to your child’s third birthday, the team needs to address the transition to preschool services. The steps shall include

  • Convening a meeting to develop a transition plan;
  • Having conversations with you about future placements and other matters;
  • Preparing your child for possible changes in services and settings;
  • Giving your consent for the transfer of records and information about your child to the local school district to ensure continuity of services;
  • Making decisions about performing or sharing your child’s evaluations;
  • Participating in the development of the IEP (Individualized Education Program);
  • Developing ways to ensure uninterrupted provision of appropriate services; and,
  • Ensuring an explanation of all procedural safeguards and parent rights is provided.
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