Statewide policies to improve early intervention services: Promising practices and preliminary results
The State of Nebraska Co-Lead agencies, who are responsible for developing statewide early intervention policies, rolled out professional development for two evidence-based strategies across several pilot sites. Implications of these strategies for child/family assessment, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development, and Early Intervention service delivery were examined utilizing family (n=30) and professional interviews (n=50), and analyses of IFSPs (n=30). The results of this mixed method study indicate widespread strategy implementation with fidelity fosters early working relationships with families and enables teams to generate, using family members’ own words, a robust group of high-quality child and family IFSP outcomes. Family engagement in planning services such as identifying service providers and setting the frequency and length of home visits was limited. In addition, further professional development is needed to strengthen use of routines-based interventions during home visits and promote family-professional collaboration to monitor child/family progress. Implications for systematic scale-up of evidence-based practices as a function of state policy implementation are reported.
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