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Got Questions about Transition and the IFSP? – There’s a Tutorial for That!

Service coordinators, the early intervention (EI) team members who lead the transition process, often have questions about how to ensure that all of the required transition steps are followed and documented. Individualizing the process while accurately documenting the required steps is an important balance for service coordinators. There are a lot of details to attend to, but service coordinators should keep in mind that these requirements are there to ensure timely, supportive transition experiences for families. Documenting transition and managing requirements are also important for local and state compliance with federal regulations because, as service coordinators know, transition is closely monitored.

Like all parts of the IFSP, the transition pages in Section VII must be individualized and completely filled out to accurately document the process for each child and family. It is the service coordinator’s responsibility to keep the transition pages updated throughout the process. To help service coordinators ensure that they are accurately documenting transition, three brief tutorials are now available on the Transition page on the Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center site. Service coordinators are encouraged to watch these tutorials in the following order:

Transition: A Series of Family Decisions (run time 6:05)

During this first tutorial, transition is introduced as a process for all families of children enrolled in EI. The first two boxes in Section VII: Transition Planning (of Virginia’s IFSP) are explained. Guidance is provided about the information that is documented in these boxes and how this information helps the EI team determine timelines and plan for the child’s transition.

Transition: Developing the Plan and Documenting the Steps (run time 13:16)

This second tutorial begins by stating that the federal law, Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004), requires that transition planning occur on the IFSP for all children receiving Part C EI services. This planning must begin at least 90 days and up to 9 months before the child will transition out of the program. Requirements for the IFSP meeting and documentation related to transition planning are discussed, including how to complete the Parental Prior Notice form. The six “Transition Steps/Activities” in Section VII are also reviewed in depth so that service coordinators understand how to document transition planning on the IFSP.

Transition in Action: Scenarios (run time 10:08)

The final tutorial is designed to help service coordinators put into practice what was discussed in the other tutorials. Three scenarios are discussed and documented on each child’s transition plan in the IFSP. The scenarios demonstrate how to document transition for: 1) a child who’s family is interested in transition options including early childhood special education (ECSE) and another community preschool; 2) a child who’s family is not interested in ECSE and wants the child to continue in her current day care setting; and 3) a child who is no longer showing any developmental delays by age three and needs no further services.

If you have questions about how to complete the transition planning section of the IFSP, be sure to watch these three tutorials. You can also review Chapter 7 in the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA Practice Manual for instructions on completing the IFSP and Chapter 8 for guidance about transition. If you continue to have questions, remember that your Supervisor, Local System Manager, and your Technical Assistance and Monitoring Consultants at the state office are available to assist.

What feedback do you have about these new transition resources? How could you use/share them with your staff and colleagues?

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