For families, the goal of early intervention and early childhood special education is to enable them to provide care for their children and have the resources they need to participate in their own desired family and community activities. Through an iterative process which included extensive input from stakeholders, the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Center (now a part of the ECTA Center) identified five family outcomes to support this goal:
- Families understand their child's strengths, abilities, and special needs.
- Families know their rights and advocate effectively for their child.
- Families help their child develop and learn.
- Families have support systems.
- Families access desired services, programs, and activities in their community.
National Data Analysis
The family outcomes federal reporting requirement for Part C programs was developed from the five ECO outcomes. States are required to report on the percent of families participating in Part C who report that early intervention (EI) services have helped their family:
- Know their rights;
- Effectively communicate their children's needs; and
- Help their children develop and learn.
Each year, the ECTA Center analyzes and reports a national summary of family outcomes data for Part C:
- IDEA Part C Early Intervention Family Survey Data for FFY2017
- Part C SPP/APR Analyses (see Indicator 4)
State Approaches to Measurement
States use survey methods to collect family outcomes data, but the questions and processes vary. The survey tools commonly used by states are the Family Outcomes Surveys and the NCSEAM Survey. Some states have developed their own survey.