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Individualized Family Service Plan

[big-title] Individualized Family Service Plan or IFSP: Bootcamp![/big-title]
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What is an IFSP or Individualized Family Service Plan?

[p]An Individualized Family Service Plan, is a document that outlines the early intervention services a child requires as well as the individuals responsible to provide those services.
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The Individualized Family Service Plan is an integral component in delivering services to a young child. It is, in essence, a contract between those responsible for providing services and those directly involved in the child’s best interests. The IFSP is also a roadmap for delivering those services. Because it is based on a partnership between family members and professionals, it is important that staff and parents are flexible during the process to best meet the child’s needs.
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How do I know if my child is eligible?

[p]Children from birth through age three who have developmental delays and/or other special needs may be eligible for an IFSP. A parent may make a referral for their child to an Early Intervention Program or the child may be referred by a doctor or other professional. Once the referral is made, a multidisciplinary team (qualified people with training and experience in the areas of speech and language skills, physical abilities, hearing and vision, and other important areas of development) will observe, interact, and use other tools or methods to gather information on the child. These procedures will help define how the child functions.
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Once the information is gathered, the team meets with the parent to discuss the findings and whether or not the child is eligible for early intervention services. If it is determined that the child is eligible for early intervention services, an IFSP will be developed to describe and define these services.
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Who participates in the IFSP?

[p]Anyone who is responsible for providing services attends an IFSP meeting. Each member of the team brings vital information to be addressed in the IFSP, and all are equal contributors. Family members know the child best and also know the supports within the child’s daily environment and set the priorities that fit into everyone’s lives. The service coordinator provides information regarding all aspects of services for the child. Evaluators and service providers bring specific information that is critical to developing a plan which benefits the child. Participants include:[/p]
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[li-row]The child’s parents, guardians, or surrogate parents[/li-row]
[li-row]Other family members, at the parents’ request (if feasible) [/li-row]
[li-row]The service coordinator[/li-row]
[li-row]An advocate or person outside the family, at the parents’ request[/li-row]
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[li-row]Service Providers[/li-row]
[li-row]Individuals directly involved in conducting the child’s and family’s evaluations and assessments [/li-row]
[li-row]An interpreter, if necessary[/li-row]
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What is included in an IFSP?

[p]The IFSP may also identify services the family may be interested in, such as information about raising a child with a disability or financial planning information. However, an IFSP must include:[/p]
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[li-row]the child’s present physical, cognitive, social/emotional, communication, and adaptive development levels and needs. [/li-row]
[li-row]family information including the resources, priorities, and concerns of the parents and other family members closely involved with the child [/li-row]
[li-row]the specific services the child will be receiving and when and where [/li-row]
[li-row]the major results or outcomes expected to be achieved for the child and family [/li-row]
[li-row]who will pay for the services [/li-row]
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[li-row]where in the natural environment (e.g., home, community) the services will be provided (if the services will not be provided in the natural environment, the IFSP must include a statement justifying why not) [/li-row]
[li-row]the number of days or sessions he or she will receive each service and how long each session will last[/li-row]
[li-row]whether the service will be provided on a one-on-one or group basis [/li-row]
[li-row]the name of the service coordinator overseeing the implementation of the IFSP [/li-row]
[li-row]the steps to be taken to support the child’s transition out of early intervention and into another program when the time comes [/li-row]
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What else do you need to know?

[p]The IFSP is reviewed at least every six months (more if necessary) and updated at least once a year. . A review of the IFSP must take place whenever the family requests it or when a service or outcome is added or removed. The IFSP must be explained to the parents and their consent is necessary for the IFSP to take effect. If the parents do not give their consent in writing, services cannot be provided to the child. Each state has specific guidelines for the IFSP. The service coordinator can more fully explain the state’s guidelines to the family. [/p]
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What should you do if you think your child needs an IFSP?

[p]If you think your child needs an IFSP or if you are unsure if your child needs an IFSP:[/p]
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[li-row]Contact a local government Intellectual or Developmentally Disabled department [/li-row]
[li-row]Reach out to an early intervention program in your area [/li-row]
[li-row]Contact a local advocacy group [/li-row]
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[li-row]Just provide others with the information you see [/li-row]
[li-row]If you are unsure, you're not along, just reach out to others[/li-row]
[li-row]If you feel strongly about having a plan, don't be afraid to standup for it![/li-row]
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[big-title2]Kokua Network goes to great lengths to provide accurate information. Kokua Network is not rendering legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice or services and you should talk to a attorney, accountant or any other professional local to your area who is knowledgeable of the rules and regulations that apply in your unique situation. Kokua Network should be used as a general guide only.[/big-title2]