If your child qualifies for speech therapy and other services through an early intervention program, the service coordinator for the program will schedule a meeting to write his Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP details the services that your child is to receive. You are your child’s best advocate and you understand his needs well. You and your entire family are strongly encouraged to get actively involved in the development of the IFSP. The IFSP is written with the view that the entire family is essential to the child’s progress, so it takes a family-centered approach. That is, your child’s needs will be identified, along with the needs of the entire family in supporting your child.
What Is It?
If your child is in school and requires special education services, he’ll have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). But it is also legally required that younger children have access to needed services and support. This is where the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) comes into play. The IFSP is a written document that all children have when they qualify for Early Intervention (EI). (Early Intervention is the version of special education for younger children.) The document is customized to your child’s specific needs. However, unlike the IEP, the IFSP also takes into account the needs of your entire family insofar as familial support is crucial to attaining a favorable outcome for your child.