Part C of IDEA
An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a strengths-based plan of care for the infant/toddler with a developmental delay or disability. The plan is based on a child and family assessment of strengths and needs as well as the results of multidisciplinary evaluations administered by qualified professionals meeting their state's certification guidelines. The IFSP is similar to an IEP in that it addresses specific services, who will provide them and when/where, how often, etc. and the plan is monitored and updated frequently. Unlike an IEP, however, the IFSP addresses not only the needs of the child but also the needs of the family to meet their family goals and specified outcomes as related to assisting in their child's development. All infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services under Part C of IDEA are required to have an IFSP in order to receive services. Part C of IDEA is the program that awards grants to every state in the United States to provide early intervention services to children from birth to age 3 who have disabilities and to their families. Part C of IDEA also allows states to define "developmental delay" (either as a standard deviation or a percent delay in chronological months) for eligibility. States provide early intervention services to the children who have medically diagnosed disabilities as well as children who exhibit developmental delays. In order to receive funding, participating states must provide early intervention to every eligible child and the respective family, regardless of pay source. Lastly, services from Part C are not necessarily free - early intervention programs, as the payor of last resort, make use of public and private insurance, community resources, and some states implement a "sliding scale" of fees for services not covered by public or private insurance.
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