Language Translation
  Close Menu

Steps to First Steps

Bureau of Child Development Services - First Steps


Contact your System Point of Entry office to discuss your concern about your child. This is called a referral and starts a 45 calendar day timeline for the system.

_____________________ Date of referral – if determined eligible, your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan should be complete 45 days from this date.

*STEP 2:

An intake appointment is set up at a mutually convenient time and place to:

  • Discuss family concerns for child
  • Explain First Steps, its services and processes
  • Explain family rights and procedural safeguards for every step of the process (you should receive a copy of your rights at this meeting)
  • Collect necessary documentation and complete paperwork to proceed with assessment and evaluation

_____________________ Date, time, and location of intake meeting

_____________________ Name and contact information of intake coordinator

*STEP 3:

Appointments are scheduled for the Assessment Team to conduct assessment activities to provide more information for the Eligibility Determination Meeting (see Step 4)

_____________________ Assessment date, time, and location

*STEP 4:

Your intake coordinator will contact you and the other team members to set up meetings at mutually convenient times and places to

  • Discuss evaluation and determine if child is eligible
  • Develop an Individualized Family Service Plan [if child is determined not eligible and/or not in need of services at this time, this meeting will be cancelled]

    You should receive 10-day prior written notice confirming times, locations, and attendees of these meetings, along with a copy of your child’s assessment summary report.

__________ Date of eligibility determination meeting

__________ Date of IFSP meeting – may be the same day as eligibility meeting [must be held within 45 days of referral (by date of ___________)]

Who should attend these meetings?

  • You, the family and your invited guests**?
  • Intake and/or service coordinator
  • Assessment team member who can explain your child’s assessment and evaluation

*STEP 5:

IFSP meeting is completed and ongoing service coordination of the plan begins

  • Service Coordinator is single point of contact to coordinate all services, provide financial case management and advocacy support, identify resources in the community, and coordinate transitions
  • You can choose services outside First Steps, and still retain service coordination and have an IFSP

___________________ Name and contact information of FS Service Coordinator

___________________ Name of provider __________________ specialty

___________________ Name of provider __________________ specialty

___________________ Name of provider __________________ specialty

*STEP 6:

Signature from physician on IFSP agreeing with services is required before ongoing services can begin (required within 10 days from IFSP date – Service Coordinator sends materials to physician and follows up)

___________________ Date physician signature required

___________________ Date physician signature actually signed and returned to SPOE

**STEP 7:

Ongoing services can begin [all services should begin within 30 days of IFSP (date ________)]

___________________ Service ___________________ Date began

___________________ Service ___________________ Date began

___________________ Service ___________________ Date began

*LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Families can ask for an evaluation of their IFSP at any time, but evaluations must occur at least every six months.

_________________ Date by which first six-month review must occur (repeats each year in First Steps)

_________________ Date (one year minus one day after previous IFSP meeting) by which first annual IFSP

Meeting must occur (repeats each year in First Steps) - eligibility must be re-determined at annual meetings

Who should attend six-month reviews and annual IFSP meetings?

  • You, the family and your invited guests**
  • Intake and/or Service Coordinator
  • Assessment Team member who can explain your child’s assessment and evaluation
  • Ongoing service providers

_________________ Date by which transition meeting for transition out of First Steps at age 3 must occur if still receiving services in FS (Transition meeting must occur at least 90 days prior to the child’s third birthday, but may occur as early as 270 days before)

Who should attend?

  • You, the family and your invited guests**
  • Intake and/or Service Coordinator
  • Ongoing service providers
  • Local Educational Agency representative (with parental consent)
  • Head Start Representative (with parental consent)
  • Representatives from other community services or programs parents may be considering (with parental consent)

* No cost to family for this service

**Invited guests may include

  • Other family members
  • Caregivers
  • Other service providers in your life (Healthy Families, Early Head Start, etc.)
  • Other professionals with expertise in your areas of questions and priorities
  • Friend or advocate of your choosing

** ** Possible co-pay for services up to a monthly maximum on a sliding scale based on family income, family size, medical expenses, insurance coverage, and extenuating circumstances (speak to Service Coordinator to determine family co-pays)