Official Early Intervention Taskforce Report
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Bureau of Early Intervention
The Bureau of Early Intervention and the Illinois State Board of Education must work together more effectively to assure that all children who are eligible for Part B services, but particularly those children served by the Chicago Public Schools, have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place by the time they reach their third birthday.
The Part C Early Intervention Program serves children and families between birth and three years of age. At age three, children who are eligible for Part B (preschool special education) services move from the Part C Program to the Part B program, which is administered centrally by Illinois State Board of Education and locally by school districts and special education cooperatives. This movement is called "Transition". Federal law contains specific requirements regarding Transition, including timelines for Transition, persons who must participate in Transition planning and Transition information that must be discussed with parents and documented in the IFSP.
Rationale for Recommendation
- Transition is reported to be extraordinarily difficult between Chicago area CFCs and the Chicago Public School (CPS) system.
- CFCs (particularly Chicago area CFCs) report difficulty assuring timely services for children with summer birthdays.
- IFSPs regularly contain steps toward Transition, but little other Transition related information.
- The General Assembly should consider requiring school districts to assume financial responsibility for the continuance of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) if the school district is unable to develop and implement an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) by the child's third birthday.
- The Bureau of Early Intervention will work with the Illinois State Board of Education to review issues related to transition in Chicago.
- The Bureau of Early Intervention will request that the Illinois State Board of Education assure that a Transition Agreement is in place between CFCs 8, 9, 10 and 11 and the Chicago Public School system by no later than June 30, 2011.
- The Bureau of Early Intervention will review current Transition policies, procedures and training materials and modify, if necessary, to assure a consistent understanding and implementation of: (1) Transition timelines, (2) Extended School Year (ESY) services, and (3) informed notice and consent requirements related to Transition.
- The Bureau of Early Intervention will review current policies that preclude EI service providers from communicating with school therapists who are evaluating and/or preparing to serve a Part C eligible child in order to assure a smooth transition.