Official Early Intervention Taskforce Report
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Bureau of Early Intervention


Recommendations:

Recommendation #4
The IICEI will create and convene a workgroup to review current Child Find and Referral policies, procedures and practices in order to assure the timely and appropriate identification and referral of all infants and toddlers who may be eligible for the Part C Early Intervention Program to the Part C Early Intervention Program and of infants and toddlers are who found ineligible to other community resources or services as appropriate.

Background

State Part C EI Programs are required to have in place comprehensive systems of Child Find and Public Awareness that will assure the timely and appropriate identification of infants and toddlers who may be eligible for the Program. The Bureau of Early Intervention has made great progress toward identifying all eligible children; reporting in their latest federal Annual Performance Report (APR) that 3.47% of all children birth to three in Illinois are participating in the Part C Early Intervention Program. The Bureau has struggled, however, to identify children early - preferably under age 1.

The Bureau of Early Intervention is actively participating in a number of initiatives designed to enhance awareness of the Early Intervention Program and improve communication with referral sources in order to assure that referrals are made in a timely manner and that families have realistic expectation of the Part C Early Intervention Program.

Rationale for Recommendation

  • The Bureau of Early Intervention was challenged to meet their target for Under 1 Program Participation - falling just short of the 1.34% target.
  • Referral sources, including primary care physicians, express an unwillingness to continue to refer due to a lack of feedback regarding the status of prior referrals. Other referral sources report barriers to communication (including automated referrals and feedback) due to barriers created by the current data management system and interpretations or misinterpretations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • There are a lack of clear policies and procedures regarding the referral, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development and provision of developmental services to children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or being newly discharged from the NICU. Policies and procedures do not clearly differentiate between the "medical" services needed by the child and the "developmental" services needed by both the child and family.

Required Actions

  • The IICEI will review current EI policies, procedures and practices related to infants in the NICU and infants being discharged from the NICU in order to determine the extent to which the Referral, Evaluation, Assessment and IFSP Development processes can be modified to facilitate the timely identification, referral and provision of EI services to eligible infants.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will continue to actively participate in initiatives and collaborations designed to improve communication between the Part C EI Program and referral sources, including the Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Reporting System (APORS), Assuring Better Child Health and Development III Project (ABCD III), the Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project (EDOPC), and the Illinois Early Hearing Detection & Intervention program, and will seek out participation in other similar initiatives.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will assure that any planned comprehensive data management and claims processing system is accessible to parties for whom access would facilitate early referral, including primary care physicians, NICUs, DCFS, HFS, DPH and DSCC, with appropriate privacy and confidentiality considerations.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will enhance the data management system to better track infants and toddlers who are ineligible for the Part C Early Intervention Program in order to assist in creating more effective relationships/agreements between CFCs and referral agencies.