The Idaho Infant Toddler Program eManual provides basic guidelines for the direct implementation of the Idaho Infant Toddler Program on a regional level. It outlines the fundamental steps in assisting families with infants and toddlers with developmental delays/disabilities and special health care needs to assess direct, “family-centered,” early intervention services.
Federal and state legislation and regulations have shaped the policies and requirements of the Idaho Infant Toddler Program. These can be found in the Idaho State Plan for Early Intervention under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) The Infant Toddler eManual provides guidelines and procedures for use in daily interactions with families. The eManual should be used in conjunction with the Idaho State Plan for Early Intervention. Recommended practices in early intervention services are also addressed throughout the manual.
This eManual is designed to be used by different professional staff that is in daily contact with children and families participating in the Infant Toddler Program. This includes, but is not limited to:
§ Regional Early Intervention Specialists
§ Family and Community Services Program Managers
§ Children’s Special Health Program Supervisors
§ Child Find Coordinators
§ Service Coordinators
§ Direct Service Providers
Infant Toddler Program eManual Organization
The topics contained in this eManual are ordered in the following sequence of steps a family may encounter as they seek services:
§ Child Find
§ Referrals to Infant Toddler Program
§ Service Coordination
§ Evaluation and Eligibility
§ Early Intervention Services
§ Individualized Family Service Plan (ISFP)
§ Periodic Reviews
§ Transition Planning
It also contains several sections about required administrative procedures that affect direct service delivery, including:
§ Procedural Safeguards
§ Personnel Standards
§ Financial Matters
Additional topics in the eManual contain Infant Toddler forms, checklists, tools for implementation of the program, and related Infant Toddler Program information.
All procedural safeguards and other federal regulatory requirements are contained within this eManual.
Tips for Successful Implementation includes supplemental tips and recommended practices that enhance the implementation of the many procedures described in the eManual.
The following briefly summarizes the authority and responsibilities given to the Idaho Infant Toddler Program:
§ Federal Law – IDEA, Part C, and the Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program provides funds to assist Idaho in establishing a statewide, comprehensive system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The legislation specifies components that must be included in the statewide system. Throughout the document, this law will be referred to as IDEA.
§ State Law – Idaho Code – Title 16, Chapter 1 – This law sets forth the policy for the state relating to early intervention services for infants and toddlers that comply with the federal law.
§ Department of Health and Welfare – Idaho Code, Title 16, Chapter 1, names the Department of Health and Welfare as the “lead agency” responsible for the coordination of the Infant Toddler Program and sets forth its authority and responsibilities.
§ Early Childhood Coordinating Council (EC3) – The federal and the state law established an interagency coordinating council to assure a coordinated approach to the financing and delivery of services. The Governor appoints members for a three-year term according to membership requirements. The Early Childhood Council (ECC) was renamed by Executive Order No. 2006-12, which combined with Idaho Code sets forth their duties and responsibilities in advising and assisting the lead agency and other agencies serving young children (refer to Appendix A).
§ Regional Early Childhood Committees (RECCs) – Established by Idaho Code and renamed by Executive Order No. 2006-12 to Regional Early Childhood Council (RECC), these local interagency committees assist with planning and coordination of the Infant Toddler Program at a regional level. Membership appointments are made by each of the directors of the seven administrative regions of the Department of Health and Welfare.
§ Interagency Agreements – These define the responsibilities of parties involved with the Infant Toddler Program by assigning operation and fiscal responsibilities for serving eligible children and their families and include dispute resolution procedures. Interagency agreements are negotiated at the state and regional levels.
Several basic concepts that form the foundations of the Idaho Infant Toddler Program are:
§ Community-Based – The Idaho Infant Toddler Program supports the provision of early intervention services in community settings so that children with disabilities or delays grow up in settings with their typical peers. Families are supported in choices for their children based on family values, lifestyles, and individual needs.
§ Early Intervention Services – These are services selected in collaboration with the parent and are designed to meet the developmental needs of each child and the needs of the family related to enhancing the child’s development.
Early Intervention services are provided under public supervision by qualified personnel, in conformity with an IFSP and at no cost to the family. The services must meet the State of Idaho standards and include, but are not limited to the following:
· Assistive Technology Device
· Assistive Technology Service
· Cued Language Service
· Family Training, Counseling, and Home Visits
· Health Services
· Medical Services Only for Diagnostic or Evaluation Purposes
· Nursing Services
· Nutrition Services
· Occupational Therapy
· Physical Therapy
· Psychological Services
· Respite Care
· Service Coordination
· Service Coordination Services
· Sign Language Services
· Social Work Services
· Developmental Therapy/Special Instruction
· Speech/Language Pathology
· Transportation and Related Costs
· Vision Services
§ Family-Centered Care – Federal law required states to deliver early intervention services through the IFSP. The IFSP enables families and professionals to work together as a team to reach goals for the eligible child. This requirement sets forth a family-centered philosophy for the delivery of early intervention services that supports, rather than supplants, the care giving role of the family, builds on strengths rather than weaknesses, respects families’ beliefs, values, and choices, and encourages and enables hopes and aspirations.
§ Interagency – The Idaho Infant Toddler Program recognizes that no one agency can meet the diverse needs of children with disabilities and their families. The program is designed to be an “interagency” effort through cooperative planning and coordination of public and private agencies and service providers.
§ Natural Environments – These are settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disability. To the maximum extent appropriate, early intervention services must be provided in natural environments, including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate. Services should be incorporated into the child’s and their family’s typical daily routines and activities. The provision of early intervention services for any infant or toddler with a disability occurs in a setting other than a natural environment that is most appropriate, as determined by the parent and the IFSP team, only when early intervention cannot be achieved satisfactorily for the infant or toddler in a natural environment.
§ Parent – The term means a parent, guardian, person acting as a parent of the child (including a grandparent or step parent with whom the child lives), or surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with federal law.
§ Service Coordination – Refers to activities that are carried out by a Service Coordinator to assist and enable an eligible child’s family to access coordinated early intervention services, help them to gain access to other community resources, and oversee the implementation of the IFSP.
§ Voluntary – Participation in the Infant Toddler Program is voluntary on the part of the parent/guardian, unless refusal to participate constitutes neglect or abuse as defined in the Child Protective Act, Idaho Code Sec. 16-1601, et seq. The parent/guardian may refuse to Consent to some activities without risking the delivery of others.