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

C. Initial Implementation: Support Reflection and Use of Feedback Loops

In this step, your State Leadership Team will support the use of the feedback loops that were created in Installation that will ensure there is circular communication between the early implementers, the Implementation Teams, and the State Leadership Team. The purpose of having feedback loops is to learn as much as possible about the experiences of early implementers, including identifying gaps in training/guidance, challenges, barriers and factors associated with resistance, and to identify potential solutions and/or process changes quickly. Alternate approaches may quickly develop and be implemented throughout the Initial Implementation stage, offering additional opportunities for timely feedback. The feedback loops are a critical component to the evaluation of the fidelity and quality of the initial efforts; as such, it is critical for the State Leadership Team to create an environment in which information is freely given and received.

Activities:
  1. State Leadership and Implementation Teams create an environment in which reflection and communication is encouraged and both positive and negative feedback are valued from individuals at all levels and with all roles in the process. This effort may begin with the State Leadership Team by creating transparency in their efforts, and then is further supported by the participation of the early implementers and Implementation Teams. Different mechanisms for planned sharing of feedback may be used (e.g. email, a wiki or secure web page, phone calls or team meetings, focus groups, TA calls) based on the needs and geography of the various individuals involved in implementing the integrated process.
  2. State Leadership Team ensures that all involved understand and know how to use the feedback loops, and provides training (if needed) in the use of online mechanisms, and shares the schedule for team meetings and phone calls well in advance.
  3. State Leadership Team uses the information shared in feedback loops quickly and in constructive ways. This might include problem solving about identified barriers, identifying additional supports or creating infrastructure changes, and testing adaptions to the integrated process. The State Leadership Team has a process in place for discussions within and across the State Leadership and Implementation Teams for deciding what to do with the feedback received. If changes are not made as a result of feedback, the State Leadership Team communicates with those in the feedback loop so that they will understand the rationale for maintaining the existing approach.
  4. The State Leadership Team ensures that there is sufficient time built into the process of early implementation to allow early implementers to absorb and use the new materials, forms and process, and to revisit and revise the materials, forms and 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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