The Illinois Early Intervention Services System is required to incorporate family involvement and provide for parental consent in determining eligibility and in service delivery. Safeguards have been established to protect parents and children. Parents need to be informed about these safeguards so they have a leadership role in services to their children. Participation in the Illinois Early Intervention Services System for infants and toddlers is voluntary for you and your family.

The general rights you have as a parent include:

  • The right to a multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment and the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) within forty-five (45) calendar days from referral;
  • The right, if eligible under IDEA, to all appropriate early intervention services(1) for your child and family as addressed in an IFSP;

In Illinois, "appropriate early intervention services" are determined through the IFSP process. The IFSP must include a statement of the specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and the family to achieve the outcomes identified in the IFSP. Federal regulations define early intervention services as services that "are designed to meet the developmental needs of each child eligible under this part and the needs of the family related to enhancing the child's development."

  • The right to evaluation, assessment, IFSP development, service coordination and procedural safeguards at no cost. You may be charged for other early intervention services on a sliding fee schedule. However, your inability to pay will not prevent your child or your family from receiving early intervention services;
  • The right to refuse evaluations, assessments, and services;
  • The right to participate in the initial IFSP development and to have it reviewed every six months or more frequently if necessary, and to participate in an annual meeting regarding the provision of services for your child;
  • The right to receive written timely notice before the state or a service provider proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child, or the provision of services to your child or family;
  • The right to receive services in your child's natural environment to the extent appropriate;
  • The right to maintenance of the confidentiality of personally identifiable information;
  • The right to review and, if appropriate, correct records; and
  • The right to an impartial hearing to resolve parent/provider disagreements.

In addition to the general rights noted above, you are entitled to be notified of specific procedural safeguards under the Early Intervention Program of IDEA.

These rights include:

  • Parental Consent
  • Prior Notice
  • Examination of Records
  • Confidentiality of Information
  • Mediation
  • Impartial Administrative Resolution of Child Complaint
  • State Complaint
  • Surrogate Parents

Each of these safeguards is described in the following pages of this booklet.