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Early Steps Policy Handbook
7/1/2010

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA Denotes a federal imposed policy required by the IDEA
State imposed policy not required by the IDEA Denotes a state imposed policy not required by the IDEA or federal regulation

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Component 2.0

Public Awareness

Authority:

IDEA Sections 631, 634, 635, 636, 637

34 CFR Sections 303.301, 303.320, 303.321, 303.322, 303.342, 303.345

Intent:

 

These policies are intended to ensure: early identification of infants and toddlers with developmental delays who are eligible to receive early intervention services; the public is informed about early intervention services and that parents know how to make referrals and gain access to such services; and that child find activities including community outreach, screening and public awareness activities are conducted in the community to identify potentially eligible children.  These policies also ensure that a Central Directory function is implemented and that it includes a coordinated system of information and referral services for families of infants and toddlers with special needs.

Sections:

2.1.0

Child Find and Public Awareness

Page 1

 

2.2.0

Central Directory

Page 4

 

2.3.0

Referral to Early Steps

Page 5

 

 

 

2.1.0  Child Find and Public Awareness

Policy

Reference/Related Documents

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.1.1        The Early Steps State Office (ESSO) will maintain a public awareness plan and ensure that child find efforts:

A.      Outreach the following subpopulations:  Native Americans, children in foster care, wards of the state, and families that are inner-city, rural, minority, homeless, or low-income.

B.     Inform the public how to make referrals.

C.     Inform the public how to access a multidisciplinary evaluation and other early intervention services.

Policy Handbook 1.2.5

Policy Handbook 1.2.6

IDEA §631(a)(5)

34 CFR §303.320

 

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.1.2   The ESSO will partner with appropriate state agencies and organizations to ensure that early intervention services are available to all infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, including Native Americans residing on a reservation geographically located in Florida, and infants and toddlers who are homeless and their families.

IDEA §634(1)

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.1.3   Local Early Steps will disseminate information to primary referral sources, especially hospitals, physicians and parents, with a special emphasis on parents of premature infants or infants with physical risk factors associated with learning or developmental complications. 

IDEA §635(a)(6)

34 CFR §303.320

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.1.4   The ESSO will assist the LES with preparation of public awareness materials to be disseminated.

Operations Guide 2.1.4

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.1.5

A.      The child find system must ensure that:

1.      All infants and toddlers in the state who are eligible for services are identified, located, and evaluated.

2.      An effective method is developed and implemented to determine which children are receiving needed early intervention services.

B.     Child find coordination should include the following agencies or programs when possible:

1.      Head Start.

2.      Early Head Start.

3.      Maternal and Child Health Programs like Healthy Start and the CMS Network.

4.      KidCare.

5.      Healthy Families.

6.      Local Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System (FDLRS)/Child Find.

7.      Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

8.      Local Education Agency (LEA).

9.      Tribal organizations that receive IDEA, Part C funds and other tribal organizations as appropriate.

10.  Child Health Checkup.

11.  Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).

12.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under Title XVI.

13.  Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

14.  Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

C.     Before any major identification, location, or evaluation activity, a notice must be published or announced in newspapers or other media, or both, with circulation adequate to notify parents throughout the relevant geographic area.

Policy Handbook 1.2.6

Operations Guide 2.1.5

34 CFR §303.321(b)

34 CFR §303.321(c)

34 CFR §300.561(b)

 

 

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.1.6   Each LES is required to have public awareness materials and to conduct activities that accurately and effectively describe Florida’s early intervention system.

Operations Guide 2.1.6

34 CFR §303.320

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.1.7  

A.      LES must submit all locally developed public awareness materials to the ESSO for review and approval prior to finalizing, printing and disseminating.

B.     The materials must be accompanied by either a completed “Request for Approval of Public Awareness Materials” form or correspondence that includes all of the information requested in the form, as shown below.

1.      Purpose of public awareness materials.

2.      Who is the target audience?

3.      Are the materials a revision to ones currently being used? If so, attach current materials.

4.      Why are the materials being revised?

5.      Do materials contain the required sponsorship statement?  

Operations Guide 2.1.7

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.1.8   A toll-free telephone number and a sponsorship statement must be on all locally developed public awareness materials.  If there is no local toll-free number available, the state Central Directory toll-free number must be used.  The words State of Florida, Department of Health shall appear in the same size letters or type as the name of the LES or other sponsoring organizations.

Operations Guide 2.1.8

Refer to Standard Contract, Sec. I.P.

Central Directory - 800-654-4440

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.1.9   The ESSO will maintain a directory of LES offices on the statewide website.

http://www.cms-kids.com/

 

 

2.2.0  Central Directory

 

Policy

Reference/Related Documents

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.2.1   The Central Directory must:

A.      Provide information about public and private early intervention services, resources and experts available in Florida.

B.     Include information on research and demonstration projects being conducted in Florida.

C.     Include information about professional groups and other groups that provide assistance to children eligible under IDEA, Part C and their families.

Policy Handbook 1.2.3

IDEA §635(a)(7)

34 CFR §303.301(a)

www.centraldirectory.org

 

Directory of Early Intervention At-Risk Research, Pilot, and Demonstration Projects in Florida

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.2.2   The information provided by the Central Directory must be in sufficient detail to:

A.      Enable the general public to determine the nature and scope of the services and assistance available from each source listed in the directory.

B.     Enable the parent of a child to contact by telephone or letter any of the sources listed in the directory.

34 CFR §303.301(b)

 

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.2.3        The Central Directory must be:

A.      Updated at least annually.

B.     Accessible to the general public.

C.     Available in each geographic section of the state, including rural areas.

D.     Available in places and a manner that ensures accessibility by persons with disabilities.

Operations Guide 2.2.3

34 CFR §303.301(c)

34 CFR §303.301(d)

 

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.2.4  

A.      Each LES must have staff available during regular business hours to answer telephone calls and provide requested information about referral, services, and supports for infants, toddlers and their families.

B.     Each LES must ensure that local resource information for families and those working with children with disabilities, special health care needs, or at-risk of developmental delay is provided to the Central Directory as requested. 

Operations Guide 2.2.4

www.centraldirectory.org, Resources tab

 

 

 

2.3.0  Referral to Early Steps

 

Policy

Reference/Related Documents

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.3.1  Local Early Steps must:

A.      Provide for an effective method for primary referral sources to make referrals for evaluation and assessment, and initial or interim IFSP as appropriate.

B.     Inform referral sources of the requirement to make referrals within two working days of identifying a child who may have a developmental delay or an established condition.

C.     Provide procedures for primary referral sources, especially hospitals and physicians, to disseminate public awareness materials.  Primary referral sources include:

1.      Hospitals, including prenatal and postnatal care facilities

2.      Physicians

3.      Parents

4.      Day care programs

5.      Local educational agencies

6.      Public health facilities

7.      Other social service agencies (including protective investigators)

8.      Other health care providers

D.     Appoint a service coordinator as specified in Policy Handbook 4.1.3.

E.     Act on a referral as specified in Policy Handbook 3.4.3 and 5.5.1.

Operations Guide 2.3.1

IDEA §635(a)(5)

34 CFR §303.320

34 CFR §303.321(d)(1)

34 CFR §303.321(d)(2)

34 CFR §303.321(d)(3)

34 CFR §303.321(e)

34 CFR §303.322

34 CFR §303.342

34 CFR §303.342(a)

34 CFR §303.345

 

 

 

2.3.2  Reserved

 

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.3.3

A.      LES must accept referrals for children under age 3 who have been involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect; or have been identified as being affected by withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure and for whom a developmental delay is indicated.  

B.     If the child remains in the home and has not been referred for additional services by DCF, then the LES must accept the referral even without an indication of developmental delay. 

Operations Guide 2.3.3

IDEA §637(a)(6)(A)

IDEA §637(a)(6)(B)

 

Department of Children and Families/Department of Health Interagency Agreement (CAPTA)

 

 

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.3.4

A.      The referral date is the date the referral is received at the LES.

B.     Acceptance of additional information at the time of referral requires parental consent.

C.     When there isn’t direct contact at the time of referral and the referral source is notified of referral receipt at a later point in time, no information may be provided to the referral source besides that information initially provided in the referral.

D.     Notification of the receipt of referral may be done via letter or telephone.

E.     Even if some of the requested information is not provided, a referral is considered complete as long as there is adequate information to contact the parents/guardian.

Policy Handbook 5.5.1

Operations Guide 2.3.4

IDEA §636(c)

34 CFR §303.321(e)(2)

 

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.3.5   When a child is referred to the LES from a child welfare case worker, the information on the outcome of the child’s screening and evaluation must be forwarded by the LES to the DCF lead agency.

Policy Handbook 8.5.6 I

 

Department of Children and Families/Department of Health Interagency Agreement (CAPTA)

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.3.6   The LES must contact the parent of a child referred within five calendar days after receipt of the referral to inform the parent that the referral has been received and to advise them of next steps in the process.  The contact must be documented in the child’s Early Steps record.

 

 

State imposed policy not required by the IDEA

2.3.7   For children referred 45 days or less prior to their third birthday, the LES is not required to conduct an evaluation/assessment, determine eligibility for IDEA, Part C, develop an IFSP or hold a transition conference.

 

 

Federal imposed policy required by the IDEA

2.3.8   For children referred 135 days or less prior to their third birthday, the requirement to hold a transition conference no later than 90 days prior to the child’s third birthday does not apply, although a transition conference must still be held.

Policy Handbook 7.3.1

Operations Guide 2.3.8

IDEA §637(a)(9)(A)(ii)(II)

34 CFR §303.342(a)

 

 

 


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