During Phase III, states will implement the improvement plans developed in Phase II, which include improvement strategies in two primary areas: infrastructure development and support for EIS program and/or EIS provider implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). The SSIP includes the activities, steps, and resources needed to implement the coherent improvement strategies with attention to the research on implementation and timelines for implementation.
Many states have established teams to support implementation of improvement activities during Phase III. These implementation teams support work at the state level and in local programs. They leverage resources across offices and agencies and address barriers to implementation as they arise. Information is shared among the teams using established feedback loops and communication protocols. Adjustments to the implementation plan are made based on progress and outcome data with input from stakeholders.
The following section addresses considerations and resources that can be used by state staff in implementing improvement strategies and associated activities. Resources and tools related to the implementation process in general, infrastructure development, and support for implementation of EBPs are included in this guide.
During Phase III, states will be implementing improvement strategies and associated activities to enhance the state infrastructure to better support EIS programs and/or EIS providers in implementing and scaling up evidence-based practices to achieve the SIMR(s) for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. These strategies, which were developed with input from stakeholders during Phase II, address improvements to one or more components of the state system including: governance, fiscal, quality standards, professional development, data, technical assistance, and accountability/monitoring.
States will continue to work toward further aligning and leveraging other state improvement plans and initiatives that impact infants and toddlers with disabilities. In addition, states will continue to engage multiple offices within the state lead agency (LA), as well as other state agencies (such as the state educational agency or SEA, if different from the LA), in implementing improvement activities and associated activities related to improving its infrastructure.
During Phase III, states will be supporting EIS programs and/or EIS providers in implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) to achieve the SIMR(s). States took one of two approaches in the selection of EBPs during Phase II. One approach was to identify a model/approach with specific practices determined by that model/approach. A second approach was to identify a model or approach but practices were not yet identified. A few states had yet identified a model/approach or specific practices for implementation.
States are also using varied approaches to implementation. Some states are planning to begin with initial implementation sites and later expand or scale up to other programs/providers while other states are planning statewide implementation. States needed to take into account their implementation approach (i.e., other sites or statewide) as they consider how they will implement and evaluate EBPs in Phase III.
Some states may need to make adjustments to their implementation plans based on data and stakeholder input in Phase III. These adjustments may include changes in models/approaches or changes in EBPs.