Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) : Everything You Need to Know

The Individualized Family Service Plan refers to a clearly outlined document whose major aim is to serve young kids that need interventional services. Each IFSP is specifically suited to each child and incorporates a plan for the family since families may require education on how to best care for their children too. Considering the above, each IFSP is “individualized” and unique.

IFSPs are covered by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and are created for eligible kids from birth to age three who need additional help with cognitive, physical, self-help, communication, or social-emotional skills. The IFSP process starts with an early intervention evaluation that looks at a baby’s or toddler’s skills. The evaluation also involves conversations with families about their resources, their needs, and their concerns. In fact, families have to give written consent before the IFSP goes into action. All the information is utilized together to see if a kid is eligible for an IFSP. If the kid is eligible, the team develops a plan of supports and services to meet the kid’s and the family’s needs.

A service coordinator helps to set up and schedule the services. Services may include:

·         Physical or occupational therapy

·         Speech and language therapy

·         Psychological services

·         Medical, nutrition, or nursing services

·         Home visits

·         Vision or hearing (audiology) services

·         Social work services

·         Transportation

Apart from a service coordinator, an IFSP team has to include the following individuals:

·         The parent or the kid’s legal caregiver

·         An advocate from outside the family (upon the family’s request)

·         Other family members as requested

·         Professionals directly involved in assessments or evaluations of a kid’s needs

·         Those who’ll provide early intervention services for a kid or family

Depending on a kid’s needs, the IFSP team may include specialists, such as a:

·         Child development specialist

·         Therapist

·         Health care provider

·         Social worker

Every IFSP has to contain certain key components. Parents should check with the appropriate education agency to learn state-specific guidelines. Components that are found in any state’s IFSPs include:

·         People and organizations involved

·         The kid’s current levels of functioning

·         Family information

·         The specific services that the child will receive

·         Specific, relevant, and measurable short-term goals

By law, the IFSP team has to meet to review the plan every six months. The objective is to determine whether updates like new outcomes are needed. Parents may request an additional review at any time if they feel the IFSP isn’t serving their kid’s best interests or if there has been a significant event or change in the kid’s life.