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IFSP Tutorial - Developing and Implementing

Developing the IFSP:

Overview of Developing the IFSP

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Understand the purpose and scope of an IFSP as a vehicle for selecting family-desired supports and services in natural environments


  • Discuss the evidence supporting community-based early intervention and the importance of providing family/child supports and services in natural environments
  • Explain the variety of ways that formal and informal family/child supports and services can be offered
  • Explain how the identification of a family’s priorities, concerns and resources provides the foundation for decision-making during the development of an IFSP
  • Explain the purpose for developing a flexible IFSP with families that reflects their desired outcomes
  • Identify the information which must be included on an IFSP, and how to facilitate discussion with families to ensure all IFSP components are addressed
  • Identify at least 4 concerns families may voice during the development of an IFSP for their child
  • Describe how to assist families to identify their desired outcomes
  • Identify the components of a functional outcome, measurable criteria and effective strategies and illustrate with 3 examples
  • Describe the factors to consider in determining the frequency and intensity of family/child supports and services
  • Describe at least 4 decisions to make with family members while developing a flexible IFSP

Developing an IFSP with Families has four key activities for readers: essential content, application activities, recommended reading and self assessment. The following chart gives an overview of the session with suggested time allotments:

Summary of Activities:


Time allotment

Read Essential Content about developing an IFSP with families

2 hours

Application 2.1: Reviewing program practices re: IFSP outcomes, strategies, criteria and supports/services

2 hours

Application 2.2: Developing functional IFSP outcomes, criteria and strategies

2 hour

Application 2.3: Addressing Family Concerns about Developing IFSPs

2 hour

Application 2.4: Evidence-based practice: Developing IFSPs with Families

2 hours

Recommended Reading

1-2 hours

Complete Self-Assessment Inventory: Developing IFSPs with families

1 hour


Guiding questions for Developing and Implementing the IFSP:

1. What aspects of family/community life do family members want their child to participate in?

2. Which formal and informal early intervention supports and service can help family members achieve their desired outcomes for their child?



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