Back to Early Steps Policy Index | CMS Home

Early Steps Operations Guide
7/1/2010

This document does not include guidance/procedures for each policy in the Early Steps Policy Handbook.  Guidance is included only as necessary to explain how to implement a policy, outline steps, or recommend actions to support implementation.

All files on this page are under 2.3MB
Some links open in a new window

Component:   5.0       Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)

Related Policy  Component

Guidance/Procedures

Reference/Related Documents

5.1.0  General Authority

5.1.3

 

The Early Steps IFSP form is available in English, Spanish, and Creole and may be used as an electronic form or in a hard copy format.

Instructions for Completing the IFSP Form Instructions for Completing the e-IFSP Form

5.1.5

It is best practice to provide a copy of the IFSP to the family and other team members immediately at the end of the meeting.  However, a 15-day timeline is allowed in consideration of the fact that IFSP meetings may be held in locations without access to printers or copy machines and that some members of the team may not be physically present at the meeting. The service coordinator is responsible for ensuring that copies of the IFSP are appropriately disseminated to the family and other members of the IFSP team. The family will initial by the names of those team members for whom they are giving permission to receive a copy of the IFSP.

Instructions for Completing the IFSP Form  

5.2.0  Accessibility and Convenience of IFSP Meetings

5.2.1

Each LES should make a substantial good faith effort to find a translator, professional, extended family member, or community resource person to translate or interpret for the IFSP meeting whenever needed.

 

5.2.3

Agencies serving the child may include the following: early care and education programs, Local Education Agencies (LEA), CMS Network, Division of Blind Services, etc. 

 

5.3.0  The Content of the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)

5.3.1

 

The present levels of development are recorded on Form D and Form E. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form D Instructions for Completing IFSP Form E

5.3.2

The family’s concerns, priorities, and resources are recorded on Form C. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form C

5.3.3

The measurable results or functional outcomes are recorded on Form F. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form F

5.3.4

The goals, criteria, procedures, timelines and strategies are recorded on Form F. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form F

5.3.5

The strategies needed to meet the child and family’s outcomes are recorded on Form G.

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form G

5.3.6

  1. The frequency, intensity, and method of delivering services; location and length of the services; funding source and, if any, payment arrangements; projected dates for initiation of services; and anticipated duration of services are recorded on Form G.
  2. The frequency and intensity are determined by the multidisciplinary IFSP team members after looking across all the outcomes for which this service is needed and then calculating how often (e.g., once a month) and the amount of time per visit (e.g., 60 minutes) the service will be provided to address all applicable outcomes. 
  3. However, frequency and intensity may not always be applicable when determining the need for consultation services. Therefore, it is appropriate to authorize consultation services on the IFSP “as needed” or “prn”.

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form G

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.3.7

The justification of the extent to which each service will not be provided in a natural environment is recorded on Form G. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form G

5.3.8

Any medical, health and other services that the child needs, or family needs related to enhancing the development of the child, but that are not required under IDEA, Part C are recorded on Form G. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form G

5.3.9

The name and contact information of the service coordinator is recorded on Form A.  This information should be kept current with updates as needed. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form A

5.3.10

The steps to be taken to support the transition are recorded on Form I. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form I

5.3.11

An explanation of the IFSP must include a review of what has been written on the IFSP, asking the parents if they understand what has been recommended, and then having the parent sign the IFSP form. If both parents are not present at the IFSP meeting, the parent in attendance may confer with the other parent, as appropriate and as needed, to discuss their child’s services prior to signing.  This information is recorded on Form H. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form H

5.3.12

Family demographic and contact information is recorded on Form A and updated as needed. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form A

5.3.13

A determination of eligibility is recorded on Form D.  This form may also be used to describe recommendations for children not found eligible, if any and as appropriate. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form D

5.3.14

Everyday routines, activities, and places are recorded on Form C Instructions for Completing IFSP Form C

5.3.15

The identification of the Primary Service Provider (PSP) is recorded on Form H

 
Instructions for Completing IFSP Form H

5.3.16

  1. Form H includes documentation of the following:
    1. articipants in the development of the IFSP
    2. method of participation
    3. who will implement the IFSP
    4. the informed written consent of the parents/guardian for early intervention services and,
    5. for children in the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the additional written consent of the child’s  DCF caseworker or designee for services. 
  2. Under no circumstances should the parents/ guardians be asked to sign indicating consent, when the IFSP document is not complete.

Instructions for Completing IFxSP Form H

Operations Guide 8.5.1

Memo Regarding Consent for Children in DCF Custody

Chapter 743.0645 F.S

5.3.17

The requirement that specific early intervention services contained in the IFSP be based on "peer-reviewed research, to the extent practicable," is not intended to impose any additional recordkeeping or IFSP content burden but rather to ensure that each early intervention services is based on the child's developmental needs and reflects current standards of research-based practices.  

 

 

5.4.0  Interim IFSP

5.4.1

  1. An interim IFSP is rarely developed, but may be appropriate when a child is referred to Early Steps with an established condition or an obvious developmental delay and conditions warrant the immediate provision of specific early intervention services.
  2. When completing an interim IFSP, Form A, Form F, Form G and Form H are completed. Form B and Form C are completed to the extent possible. Form D and Form E are not completed.

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form A

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form B

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form C

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form F

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form G

Instructions for Completing IFSP Form H

5.4.2

The date the initial IFSP is written, not the date the interim IFSP is written, serves as the date from which the periodic review and annual meeting to evaluate the IFSP must occur.  

5.5.0  Initial Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)

5.5.2

The reason for the delay may also be documented on Form A. Instructions for Completing IFSP Form A

5.5.3

If family members, other than the parents, and/or advocate(s) are unable to attend the initial IFSP meeting, arrangements should be made to facilitate their participation through a telephone conference call, emails, videoconferencing, etc.  Participation may also include the submission of reports via mail or fax. The service coordinator should encourage the family to invite individuals involved in child’s life to be part of the IFSP development.     

 

5.6.0  Periodic Review of the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)

5.6.1

  1. If the periodic review occurs before six months, the next periodic review should occur six months from that date. No more than a 6-month period can lapse between IFSP reviews.
  2. If the periodic review meeting is held reasonably close and prior to the due date of the annual evaluation of the IFSP and all conditions for the annual evaluation are met during the periodic review meeting, then the periodic review can suffice for the annual evaluation of the IFSP.
  3. If the periodic review is held a short time prior to the child’s third birthday, then the transition conference may be held in conjunction with the periodic review, if all conditions are met for conducting the Transition Conference as stated in Policy Handbook 7.3.0 and 7.4.0.
  4. Examples of conditions that warrant more frequent periodic reviews of the IFSP include:
    1. Any time a change or modification is requested on the IFSP by any member of the IFSP team.
    2. When the service coordinator is aware of problems/concerns that need to be discussed between the times when required meetings or reviews are due.
    3. When the service coordinator/service provider receives a request from the family regarding problems/concerns that need to be discussed between the times when required meetings or reviews are due.
    4. When an IFSP outcome is not being met, or progress is not being made, you would not need to wait six months to figure out new strategies.  A periodic review can be scheduled.
    5. When the outcomes were achieved in four months, you would not need to wait two additional months to develop new ones. If an outcome has a projected achieve date in 4 months, then a periodic review just prior to that achieve date may be necessary to determine next steps. However, if an IFSP outcome was achieved yet there continue to be other outcomes to be addressed, an earlier IFSP review may not be necessary.
    6. When a child and family transfer from another LES in Florida, the current IFSP must be reviewed and updated as appropriate.
Instructions for Completing IFSP Form J

 

5.6.3

  1. It is best practice for periodic reviews to be conducted face to face. The periodic review may also be conducted via telephone conference call or videoconferencing.  Participants may submit information and reports to the service coordinator that will be discussed during the periodic review via email, postal service or fax before the periodic review date.
  2. The family’s concurrence regarding how the periodic review is conducted should be documented in the progress notes.

 

5.6.4

  1. If family members, other than the parents, and/or advocate(s) are unable to attend the periodic review, arrangements should be made to facilitate their participation.
  2. If the evaluators/assessors, service providers, and/or other needed persons are unable to attend the periodic review, arrangements should be made to facilitate their participation through a telephone conference call, designated knowledgeable representative, making available pertinent records, emails, videoconferencing, etc.  Participation may also include the submission of reports via mail or fax before the periodic review.
  3. In keeping with the Early Steps team-based Primary Service Provider approach to service delivery, all members of the IFSP team are encouraged to participate in the periodic review in some capacity.
  4. Examples of situations that may especially warrant the involvement of evaluators/ assessors, service providers, and/or others needed at the periodic review include:
    1. When a service provider is providing an update on the progress of the child toward achieving the identified outcomes on the IFSP, s/he will be involved in the periodic review.
    2. When a service provider is acting in a dual role as a member of the evaluation team and then as the primary service provider, s/he will be involved in the periodic review.
    3. When the child is served by CMS, then the medical professional who conducted the evaluations and/or assessments will be involved in the periodic review.
    4. When the child is in custody of DCF under Chapter 39 F.S., then the DCF caseworker or his/her designee will be involved in the periodic review to provide written consent for modified medical services.

Operations Guide 8.5.1

Memo Regarding Consent for Children in DCF Custody

Chapter 743.0645 F.S.

5.7.0  Annual Evaluation of the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)

5.7.2

  1. The annual IFSP meeting can be held earlier than the one-year anniversary date, if necessary, but should not be held after that date.  IFSP meetings must be scheduled considering the individual child and family circumstances.
  2. If the annual IFSP meeting is completed early, then the next annual due date should be 12 months from the date the annual IFSP is written.
  3. If the annual IFSP meeting is held a short time prior to the child’s third birthday, then the transition conference may be held in conjunction with the annual meeting, if all conditions are met for conducting the Transition Conference, as stated in Policy Handbook 7.3.0 and 7.4.0.  
Instructions for Completing IFSP Form A

Policy Handbook 7.3.0

 

Policy Handbook 7.4.0

5.7.3

  1. The annual IFSP meeting to evaluate the IFSP will include a review of the team’s ongoing assessment and any status reports, or evaluations and/or assessment results from community providers and other sources and be documented on Form E.
  2. A formal multidisciplinary evaluation with functional scores is not required if current information in all developmental areas exists from ongoing assessment of the child and family and any other current information. The IFSP team must decide the information necessary to determine what services are needed and will be provided.
Instructions for Completing IFSP Form E

 

5.7.4

  1. If family members, other than the parents, and/or advocate(s) are unable to attend the annual evaluation of the IFSP, arrangements should be made to facilitate their participation through a telephone conference call, emails, videoconferencing, etc. 
  2. Service providers who also provide on-going assessment and evaluation of the child are regarded as evaluators and assessors and therefore their participation is required at the annual evaluation of the IFSP meeting.

 


Back to Early Steps Policy Index | CMS Home