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

A. Installation: Secure Leadership Support

In this step, your state leadership team should consider who beyond the exploration team and those contacted in the exploration stage should be informed of the intent to integrate the outcomes and the IFSP/IEP process. At this point, you will also examine your state leadership team for any gaps or opportunities, and potentially invite additional members to participate in the team. Those contacted could include leadership within the agency in which early intervention or early childhood special education is administered, or other key agencies within the early childhood, health, or mental health sectors that have relationships with the early intervention and/or early childhood special education programs. Consideration about needs for shared funding or staff as well as memoranda of understanding or agreements for service delivery should be given when identifying key leadership stakeholders. It also may be important to consider legislators or leadership from programs and agencies outside of early childhood with an investment in early care and education, (e.g. child protective services, juvenile justice), for their potential to advocate and support the work. At the same time, it also is important to consider leadership on the local and/or regional level to identify potential support and early implementers of the new practice. Individuals with high involvement in other early intervention or early childhood special education activities, including those involved in parent support and information agencies should be considered.

Activities:
  • As a group, discuss the agencies with whom additional relationships are in place, and identify individuals within those agencies who should be:
    1. Informed of the intent to integrate child and family outcomes with the IFSP/IEP process because some aspect of the work impacts their activities within the early childhood system.
    2. Invited to participate in the installation activities to ensure that their interests are well represented in the planning for and implementation of an integrated process.
    3. Invited to participate as an advocate for the integrated process. These individuals may be decision makers who can facilitate a smoother transition to an integrated process based on their positions within agencies.
    4. Determine how, what and when to communicate to each individual. Incorporate the communication with these individuals into the communication feedback loops, listening for any areas that need to be addressed before moving forward.
    5. Share this information within your team and determine how the information impacts other installation activities. Develop a plan for the involvement of these individuals in the future steps of this stage, as well as the future of implementation of an integrated outcomes and IFSP/IEP process.

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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