Individuals With Disabilities Education Act - Early Intervention - Role of The Service Coordinator

Role of The Service Coordinator

All infants/toddlers (and their families) eligible for early intervention services under Part C of IDEA are guaranteed the right to service coordination at no cost to the family (at public expense). An initial service coordinator is assigned to a family upon referral, however, the family has the right of choice and may change service coordinators at any time. Under IDEA, the service coordinator serves as a single point of contact. "Service coordination services include assisting parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities in obtaining access to needed early intervention services and other services identified in the IFSP" . The service coordinator works with the family and also leads the early intervention team of professionals working with the infant/toddler and family, conducting follow ups and monitoring service provision. The service coordinator will work with the infant/toddler and his/her family until the child turns three and "ages out" of early intervention (except in the few states that have elected to provide early intervention services from birth to five). As early as nine months prior to the toddler's third birthday, the service coordinator works with the family to prepare for transition to another appropriate environment for the child. The transition plan and a transition conference will be completed at least ninety days before the toddler's third birthday. For toddlers receiving early intervention services who are not eligible for early childhood special education services under Part B, the service coordinator will help the family identify other appropriate early childhood learning environments/opportunities/programs in their community (IDEA CFR §303.344(h)).

Federal law (CFR §303.34) lists the ten functions of service coordinators in their work with infants and toddlers who have special needs and their families. These include:

  1. Assisting families in obtaining needed services (as well as making referrals, scheduling appointments, etc.)
  2. Coordinating early intervention services (social, medical, educational)
  3. Coordinating evaluations and assessments and making sure results are explained with family members and that family members receive a copy
  4. Facilitating and participating in the development, review, and evaluation of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs)
  5. Assisting families in identifying available EIS providers (including making the referral)
  6. Monitoring the delivery of services indicated on the IFSP (timely receipt of services)
  7. Following up to determine that appropriate services are being provided
  8. Informing/educating families of their rights and procedural safeguards
  9. Coordinating funding sources for services
  10. Facilitating the development of a transition plan to preschool services under Part B or other appropriate services

Read more about this topic:  Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Early Intervention

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