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IFSP Tutorial - Evaluation and Assessment

Planning with Families for Evaluation and Assessment:

Application & Reflection

Page 2 of 6

Application 2.3: Identifying Informal and Formal Family Resources and Supports

As an orientation to assisting families to consider a wide range of informal and formal resources and supports, the Family Resource and Support Survey provides an opportunity to explore resources that an individual might use when encountering typical and unusual family/personal situations.

  1. Look over the ordinary and extraordinary life situations described in the Family Resource and Support Survey, and note the people and/or agencies/organizations you would contact in the following two categories:

    A. Informal supports: friends, family, neighbors and community contacts that include members of social networks (e.g., co-workers, religious groups, baby sitters, carpool partners) and community groups and programs that address a broad segment of the community (e.g., YMCA, service clubs, sports leagues, libraries, schools, community)

  2. B. Formal supports: professionals and professionally oriented agencies/organizations, usually with specific functions and missions (e.g., public health clinics, mental health programs, transportation services, family preservation programs, social services)

  3. Review the informal vs. formal contacts you identified. Were there any surprises?
  4. Discuss how to assist one family that you currently work with to identify and use informal and formal supports as resources in helping their child participate in daily family and community activities. Consider how you might introduce family surveys and questionnaires (1, 2, 3 and 4) as prompts to help family members discuss, in writing or verbally, their child's needs during a planning conversation.
  5. How can early intervention service providers collaborate with informal sources of family support?

* For further reading: Trivette, C., Dunst, C., & Deal, A. (1997). Resource-based approach to early intervention. InK. Thurman, J. Cornwell, & S. Gottwald (Eds), Contexts of early intervention (pp. 73-92). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.


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