If your child qualifies to receive early intervention services, it could help them obtain critical support to assist with growth and development. Those who qualify for early intervention services can receive an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
What should California parents know about IFSPs?
What exactly is an IFSP?
If your child is eligible, an IFSP is the plan that will outline the early intervention services and support they will obtain.
An IFSP can help support children with disabilities by providing various services to aid their development, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
“Family” is key
The inclusion of the term “family” is critical in an IFSP, as an IFSP document provides support for families in addition to providing services for their children. For example, the IFSP might include parent education or counseling.
Think of it as a pre-IEP
You may be familiar with the concept of an individualized education plan (IEP). An IEP is a special education plan customized to meet your child’s needs in school.
An IFSP is similar in some ways. For example, both documents:
- Outline the details of services children will receive
- Describe the goals and milestones for children
- Include parents in the creation of the plan
- Involve a team of parents and specialists to support the child
- Act as a legal document
However, unlike an IEP (which is typically more specific to education), an IFSP provides holistic services to the families of children who are under three years old.
Obtaining early intervention services can be key, and it is important for parents to understand the basics of an IFSP so they can advocate for their family.