What’s an IFSP?

The Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) is a legal document – serving as an agreement between FCESS and you, the parent. The IFSP is the road map for FCESS services; it guides the IFSP team in providing the necessary supports and services to your child and family. The IFSP will describe the strengths of your child and family and help guide you toward achieving the goals that you have.

The IFSP is intended to address your family’s needs as well as your child’s needs, so you will be asked about your family’s strengths, needs and concerns. These may seem like strange questions but FCESS wants to get to know you and help integrate services and supports into the activities you already enjoy. If you are willing to share this information, the IFSP should include a statement of your family’s strengths, needs and concerns relating to promoting your child’s development. Your Service Coordinator will also give you a copy of the Know Your Rights manual, if you haven’t been given one.

The IFSP must contain the following information:

  • A statement of your child’s present level of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social/emotional development and adaptive development.
  • A statement of major outcomes expected to be achieved by your child and family, along with strategies and ways progress will be measured so we know how your child is doing.
  • A statement of exactly what services will be needed to meet the needs of your child and family.
  • The natural environments in which the supports and services will be provided.
  • The “who will do it, what will be done, where it will happen, and how often” of the plan including the projected start date for each service and duration.
  • A summary of documented medical services your child may need such as hospitalization, surgery, or medication and to the extent possible, available funding sources. If you do not have Medicaid, but think you may be eligible, FCESS can assist you with the application, help you connect with special medical services if this is appropriate, or assist you in accessing other low cost health resources.
  • The name, telephone number, agency and location of your Service Coordinator and the names of all of your team members.
  • Beginning at 27 months, the steps that will be taken to support the transition from FCESS to the school district, Area Agency services for children 3 years and older and community programs available to help your child and family.
  • Your Signature – Services cannot begin or be changed without your signature. You must agree for services to begin and agree that you understand your rights.

Next step – Service Provision

Frequently Asked Questions

The IFSP team will look at all of the following supports and services that may help your child achieve the IFSP goals:

  • Service coordination
  • Special instruction
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Family training, counseling and home visits
  • Health services that enable a child to benefit from the other supports and services provided by FCESS
  • Medical services for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only
  • Assistive technology- including evaluation for, providing the acquisition of, and training for the family and child
  • Audiology services- including evaluation, medical referrals and prevention of hearing loss
  • Psychological services
  • Social work services
  • Vision and mobility services
  • Transportation and mileage reimbursement when appropriate to receive early intervention services

For more information on these options, please contact The Parent Information Center on Special Education for more information.

The philosophy of how FCESS delivers services is a family centered approach – making parent participation critical. You will have the opportunity to learn specific treatment techniques as well as what milestones to look for as your child progresses. As a member of the IFSP team, it is important that you understand the process and feel comfortable working with the other members of your team. If you do not understand something, you are encouraged to ask questions. Here are some things to think about:

  • During your visit, make a list of questions that you may have while participating in the session.
  • Do you understand everything that is being explained?
  • Do you know why they are doing a particular activity with your child?
  • Would it be helpful for you to receive handouts describing how to do a technique with your child?
  • If you do not feel comfortable performing something that a specialist showed you, ask for another demonstration.
  • Practice strategies with your therapist during the visit. How do you learn best?
  • Ask for examples of ways that you can incorporate the strategies and techniques into your day and how to make it fun.
  • Do you want to involve other family members? Ask how to do this.
  • Try out what has been suggested. What is working? What needs some refining? What is absolutely not working?
  • How do you feel watching another person work with your child? Express feelings to the therapist.