Anyone who has a concern about a child’s development can make a referral to Family-Centered Early Supports & Services (FCESS), including, and especially, you, the parent. If someone other than you makes the referral, you will be notified that a referral has been made and will be asked for consent to proceed before any evaluations are done or services provided.
If you think that your child and family may be eligible, then you should make a referral to the FCESS Intake Coordinator at your Area Agency. Local Area Agencies are responsible for providing FCESS services. Sometimes as parents we are unsure of whether or not we should make a referral or if there “really is a concern”. Parents should feel comfortable in trusting their instincts and just as comfortable contacting FCESS to help in better understanding their child’s developmental needs.
The Intake Coordinator at the Area Agency will set-up a convenient time to meet with your family at your home or another location to gather more information about your child and family and to complete the necessary paperwork to move forward in the process. Typically during the intake visit, a multi-disciplinary evaluation visit is scheduled. Take time and ask any questions that you have. It is important to know that FCESS has 45 days from the date a referral is made to complete an evaluation, determine eligibility and, if your child is eligible, develop an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP).
You can find the contact information for your local Area Agency at the NH Health and Human Services website.