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.
See also: Family Engagement
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.
State Framework and Self-Assessment
State Family Outcomes Measurement System (S-FOMS)
This framework, originally developed by the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Center, identifies 7 key components of a high-quality family outcomes measurement system at the state level. The following resources were developed for state Part C and Part B 619/Preschool programs to evaluate and improve their family outcomes measurement system.
This framework contains background information and the framework’s 7 components, 15 quality indicators and their associated elements of quality. It provides an easy way to review the content of the S-FOMS.
S-FOMS Self-Assessment (2017)
This Excel-based tool that provides an automated scoring form for states to rate their family outcomes measurement system on the 15 quality indicators and associated elements and to set priorities for improvement.
S-FOMS Self-Assessment Guide (2017)
Thie guide provides guidance for the self-assessment process and detailed instructions on use of the Excel tool.