9Found this helpful

If your child qualifies for early intervention, these services will be spelled out in an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This document can be long and confusing. Use this handy visual aid to help you read and understand it.

9Found this helpful
At a Glance: Anatomy of an IFSP

An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) lays out the support a young child and his family will receive to help boost his development. Available for children up to age 3, the early intervention services in an IFSP are tailored to meet each child’s unique needs. But most plans have some things in common. Below are the most important components you’ll find in most IFSPs.

Child and Family Information
This first section lists your child’s name, date of birth and other basic details. It also includes your family’s contact information. The date of the IFSP meeting may be noted, too.

Service Coordinator Information
The service coordinator is the person responsible for making sure the IFSP is carried out. Other members of the IFSP team may be listed here also or at the end of the plan.

Present Levels of Development
This describes your child’s current abilities and skills. These can include:
• Physical skills (reaching, crawling, walking, drawing, building)
• Cognitive skills (thinking, learning, solving problems)
• Communication skills (talking, listening, understanding others)
• Self-help or adaptive skills (eating, dressing)
• Social/emotional skills (playing, interacting with others)

Family Resources, Concerns and Priorities
This is a statement of your family’s strengths and challenges. You’ll help create it. Any concerns you have about your child and the priorities for his progress will also be noted here.

Measurable Results or Outcomes
This important section lays out the goals (“outcomes”) for your child, how they’ll be met and how your child’s progress will be measured. These goals can also help the IFSP team decide if services should be added or changed.

Early Intervention Services
This describes the early intervention services your child and family will get. The plan should specify where the services will be provided, how often they’ll be provided and how long each session will last.

Natural Environments/Settings
Services in an IFSP should be provided at home, in day care or in other “natural environments” for your child. If a service is provided in a place kids his age would not typically be, this section will explain why.

Other Services
Some services that your child and family need may not be paid for by early intervention. But they’re listed here to give you a complete picture. Potential sources of funding are also noted.

Parent Consent
Your consent is required before early intervention services can be provided. Some IFSPs have a signature line.
Graphic of At a Glance: Anatomy of an IFSP
Graphic of At a Glance: Anatomy of an IFSP

About the Author

Understood Team Graphic

The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Virginia Gryta

Virginia Gryta, M.S., teaches and mentors students working toward master’s degrees and certification in special education at Hunter College.

Did you find this helpful?

What’s New on Understood