The Impact of Funding on Part C Systems: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?


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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of Part C programs and how funding has impacted the quality of services for children and families given ongoing budgetary concerns. Perceptions of State Early Intervention Coordinators (EICs) regarding their state Part C systems were obtained through an online survey. Using survey research methods to collect and analyze data, two primary questions were addressed in the current study: (a) What are the general characteristics of Part C programs that may be related to fiscal issues? and (b) What is the perceived impact of funding on the quality of services for children and families? A majority of respondents indicated their state program implements a primary service provider model, relies heavily on medical funding streams such as Medicaid, and is experiencing provider shortages. In addition, respondents commented on quality, trends, and funding of their state Part C programs. The findings of this study provide insight about the general characteristics of Part C programs, along with the perceived impact of funding on Part C services at the national level for policy makers, administrators, professionals, and families.

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