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

Joint Home Visits

Despite common practice, services should be decided only after outcomes have been decided upon. With the PSP approach, deciding on services is largely based on how much help the PSP needs to address each outcome. For example, consider the following outcomes, which are listed in the mother's order of importance.

The main opportunity for consultation between the PSP and other team members is the joint home visit. During these joint home visits, the specialists join the PSP (a) to conduct assessment through a variety of means, (b) to provide intervention suggestions, and (c) to model and give feedback as appropriate. Meanwhile the PSP (a) asks questions, (b) ensures the family understands, (c) ensures the specialist understands, (d) takes notes, and (e) handles interruptions.

Role of the Specialists Role of the Primary Service Provider
  • conduct assessment through a variety of means
  • provide intervention suggestions
  • to model and give feedback as appropriate
  • asks questions
  • ensures the family understands
  • ensures the specialist understands
  • takes notes
  • handles interruptions

This approach will be reflected on the service grid of the IFSP. Often, the PSP will be assigned to visit the family weekly, which is probably a reasonable recommendation for the default intensity for all families. It can and should be adjusted as appropriate. Specialists might be needed frequently for the short term, but then backed off to one joint home visit every 1-3 months. Flexibility is the key.

Joint home visits are focused on "consultation" from the specialist around needs related to functioning in routines. The four goals of a consultative joint home visit are

  • to determine the problem contributing to the routines-based need;
  • to provide information that will enhance intervention between home visits;
  • to provide other information; and
  • to enhance the competence and confidence of the caregiver and the PSP.


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