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IFSP Tutorial - Developing and Implementing

Developing the IFSP:

Essential Content

Page 6 of 13

Decisions to make with families about what to include on an IFSP

The IFSP is intended to be a flexible document that identifies how early intervention providers and community resources will support a family in their efforts to help their child learn from and participate in everyday activities. It is a family’s guide for reaching their intended outcomes, rather than the providers’ treatment plan with specific outcomes for each discipline.

The IFSP includes family-selected outcomes for a child, and family members (if desired). Functional outcomes are the foundation for the entire IFSP, and describe a child’s and/or family’s actions/interaction within a specific context or activity setting. After functional outcomes are selected, criteria and strategies for achieving each outcome are discussed. Only then can the discussion turn to selecting the early intervention supports and services which can help a family achieve their outcomes. This includes but is not limited to formal service providers such as educators, therapists, counselors, nurses and social workers.

Table 2.1poses critical decisions to make with families when developing an IFSP and identifies the components mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which must be included on an IFSP:

Table 2.1 IFSP Decisions to make with families:


IFSP Components

Why we are providing EI

Outcomes identify what will happen for a child/family

How we will know we have achieved outcomes

Criteria, procedure and timelines to measure progress towards achieving outcomes

What is needed to achieve IFSP outcomes

Methods (strategies)

Who will provide
family/child supports and services

Formal services/supports from a Local Infants and Toddlers Program, including service coordination and the name of the service coordinator

Community linkages to related agencies providing formal supports/services to children and families may also be identified (e.g., health, transportation, housing and informal supports/services such as child care, recreation events, and children’s programs)



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