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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Module One: Lesson One

Evaluation of the Early Steps System

Early Steps recognizes the pressing need for valid and reliable data on the outcomes experienced by children and families who receive early intervention services. For this reason, a system evaluation is in the process of development. The purpose of the Early Steps system evaluation is to assist in making data-based decisions regarding policy and resource allocation, provide data and information for system improvement, document accountability to stakeholders (i.e., OSEP, DOH, legislators, families, referral agencies, etc.), and share successes and increase public awareness through public relations and marketing. As part of the evaluation methodology, six impact statements have been developed, along with indicators for each statement. The six impact statements are as follows:mother reading to child

  • Children and families participate in a consistent, statewide system of service delivery.
  • Families have increased capacity to promote and support improved outcomes for their child.
  • Early Steps is recognized as a valuable, effective, and efficient service delivery system.
  • Children and families are serviced by a highly qualified and diverse workforce.
  • Children achieve positive outcomes.
  • Communities work together to support and sustain the inclusion of children with disabilities and their families.

The next steps in the design of the system evaluation include confirmation of evaluation questions, identification of data sources, development of methodologies to collect data, development of the design analysis and reporting plan, and the design of the implementation plan and schedule. A pilot of the system evaluation process is scheduled for the spring of 2005.


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