Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is the foundation of
services that are family-centered. It is based on your child's
strengths and your family's concerns and priorities for your
child. You can participate actively in the process of assessment
and planning by gathering information about your child's medical
and developmental history and making observations about his or
her strengths, talents, preferences, and difficulties.
Talking with other parents, learning more about your child's diagnosed condition, and listing your questions and concerns are all ways to prepare for a planning meeting. Identifying needs for transportation, child care, or interpreters is important. In planning the IFSP meeting with your service coordinator:
You do! You are an equal member of the IFSP team which develops the service plan. Along with your service coordinator, you help decide which family members, friends, teachers, therapists, physicians, and other professionals should be included and which members will help to write the IFSP. As the parent and expert on your child, you let the team know what you want for your child and your family. The team will work together with you to achieve these outcomes. You are at the heart of the process - not just to identify your own family's concerns, but also to develop the actual working plan.
The IFSP should be:
IFSP should include:
The IFSP is not a final document; it is an ongoing process. Your infant's or toddler's needs may change quickly, so your family's IFSP should be reviewed frequently, at least every six months, and revised as necessary. If you feel your early intervention services need to be changed, contact your service coordinator to request an IFSP review.
In early intervention, transitions occur whenever your child's services change to better meet both of your needs. Transitions take place when your baby first leaves the hospital to go home, when moving from an infant home-based service to a toddler group, when moving from a toddler program into a preschool, or when your child no longer needs any early intervention services. This can occur at any time before age three. However, when your child turns three years old, responsibility for providing needed services changes from the Early Start Program to other programs in the community. This may be a major change for you and your child.
Planning for transition requires your participation. Decisions regarding your child cannot be made without you, and no change can be made in the IFSP without your consent. In creating the transition plan, you should have the opportunity to help determine the answers to the following questions:
Planning for the transition before age three is required in the Early Start Program and should begin three to six months before your child turns three. The IFSP must include the steps to be taken in assuring a smooth transition to the next services. Beginning to prepare at that time will simplify the process later. Information and training on the differences in programs and planning processes, documents, and rights are available from your local family resource center/network and your service coordinator.
Early Start Contents
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