IFSP Practices in Two States: Implications for Practice

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This study investigated the extent to which indicators oF family-centered services were reflected in a sample of individualized family service plans (IFSPs) collected in Colorado and Iowa during their Fifth year of Part H implementation. Seventy-eight IFSPs were reviewed using content analysis procedures. The IFSP content analysis included the following family-centered indicators: use of professional versus lay language, use of a family- or child-centered orientation, use of interagency or informal supports, and degree of match between expressed concerns and outcomes. Results indicated that the IFSPs were primarily child focused, and outcome statements typically were written as behavioral objectives to maximize the child's development. Implications for early intervention practices are discussed relative to personnel and parent training, service providers' concerns about compliance issues interfering with family-centered practices, and the relative uniqueness of the IFSP process itself.

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