Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

State Policies for Implementing CAPTA and IDEA Referral Regulations

As part of the CAPTA topic page, the ECTA Center provides these state examples

DE, MA, MN, NE, NM, OR, SC, SD, UT, VA, All States

New Mexico, Utah, Virginia

At the December 2005 OSEP National Early Childhood Conference, IDEA 2004 Early Identification and Child Find - Part 2, provided examples of how NM, UT and VA have responded to requirements to include interagency agreements, referral and child find policies, training and partnership activities at the state and local levels.


The Massachusetts Early Childhood Linkage Initiative DOC: MECLI report (2005) examined the referrals from Department of Social Services to early intervention, parental acceptance of the referrals, the numbers of referred children who were eligible for early intervention, the characteristics of those children, and the outcomes of the referrals. In brief, 540 families were offered a referral to EI by DSS and 70% of them accepted it. 299 children who had been referred under MECLI had data in EIIS. Of these children, 211 (71%) had completed evaluations and 161 children (76% of those evaluated) were determined to be eligible for EI services. The average age of the children referred under MECLI was one year and three months. This indicates that children were being referred when they were quite young, which gives EI a significant period of time to work with these children before they reach their third birthdays and are no longer eligible for EI. Of MECLI children who were evaluated, 51% had developmental delays that made them eligible for EI, an additional 18% were eligible based on at-risk criteria, 8% were eligible for other reasons, and 24% were not eligible (percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding).

Minnesota subsequently expanded its AR program statewide, and AR programs are also being implemented in other States.

Minnesota Referral System

PDF: Referral for Disabilities: A New Responsibility for Child Protection from the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, Practice Notes(16), 2005, outlines the Minnesota referral system, which includes referrals of maltreated children to the county Interagency Early Intervention Committee.

South Carolina, Delaware, Nebraska

At the February 2005 OSEP National Early Childhood Conference, three states (SC, DE and NE) and an OSEP Child Find Project (Cordelia Robinson), presented Implications Of And State Strategies For Addressing The Referral Provisions Of The Child Abuse Prevention And Treatment Act Of 2003 (CAPTA).

PowerPoint Presentations:


State Laws on Child Abuse and Neglect

All States have enacted laws and policies that define State roles and responsibilities in protecting vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. Issues addressed in statute include mandatory reporting, screening reports, proper maintenance and disclosure of records, domestic violence, and other issues. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information about state laws & policies related to child abuse and neglect. For example, see state laws on:

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

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 H326P170001 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.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute