Implementing an Integrated Child & Family Outcomes and IFSP/IEP Process

C. Exploration: Explore Implementation

In this step, you will measure the readiness of your system, as well as explore the commitment and leadership of potential early adopters. The purpose of this measurement is to “take the temperature” of your field to determine who might be willing to support the integrated processes and be an example to others. It will also help you identify where additional training and TA might be needed in order to change both thinking and behavior in order for the integrated outcomes and IFSP/IEP to be successful. In this step, you will also assess your IFSP/IEP process to determine where opportunities to integrate child and family outcomes exist. Lastly, this is the final step before deciding whether or not to move forward.

  1. Conduct self-assessments at the local, regional and/or state levels to determine where structures are in place to support an integrated outcomes and IFSP/IEP process, and to identify where additional supports will be needed.
  2. Conduct program staff and/or stakeholder discussions to identify where within the existing IFSP or IEP process opportunities to integrate child and family outcomes exists.
  3. Review the information and literature available about implementation science.
  4. Conduct stakeholders' meetings to complete and/or share the results of the self-assessment and the IFSP/IEP review process and to identify individuals or programs that may be considered to be early adopters based on results of self-assessment. Review the stages of implementation to create a common understanding of the process to be used. Begin to discuss how to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes based on the desired outcomes stated in Steps A and C.
  5. Based on the information gathered through steps A-C, decide whether or not to move forward towards implementation of an integrated outcomes and IFSP/IEP process.


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The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

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