What is an IFSP?

An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a working document produced collaboratively by program staff and family members that contains the agreed upon Early Intervention services for an eligible child and family. Based on a multidisciplinary eligibility evaluation and any completed assessments, the plan includes services necessary to enhance the development of an eligible child, and the capacity of the family to meet the child's needs. All certified Early Intervention programs use the current universal IFSP form approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Why do we write an IFSP?

It's important to have a plan in writing, which shows the work families and staff will do together. The IFSP is the written plan that lists services and supports to eligible children and families. The plan will include:

  • Information about your child - including assessment results, your family's concerns, and your child's strengths.
  • The outcomes (goals) you want to achieve for your child and family.
  • Strategies and activities to reach those outcomes together .
  • The services to be provided - how often, by whom, when, and where.
  • The person who is your service coordinator. Your service coordinator will help you develop your plan, make sure it is followed, and explain your family rights and procedural safeguards.
  • The steps to help you and your child in the transition from EI.

Family Role

At Early Intervention, we believe that no one knows your child as well as you. You are a partner in developing the IFSP, and it is important for you to be part of the process.

You may want to think about some things as the process gets started:

  • What are some of the things you and your child do everyday?
  • What activities does your child enjoy doing? What activities are difficult for your child?
  • What do you need to support you as a family?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for your child?

Provider Role

A team of EI staff will do a developmental assessment. Their role is to:

  • Listen carefully to what you tell them.
  • Share information about what they think.
  • Help you obtain services or support you and your child may need to meet your outcomes within the EI Program or your community.

How Will Outcomes Be Achieved?

Services are provided in natural settings such as the home, child care settings, playgroups, EI centers and other community sites. Services and supports may include:

  • Home visits
  • Community child groups
  • EI only child groups
  • Parent groups
  • Specialty Services
  • Transportation to and from the EI site.

Services are provided by certified Early Intervention Specialists. Early Intervention Specialists are professionals from a variety of disciplines who are also skilled in child development.

Tools and Resources

This information is provided by the Early Intervention Program within the Department of Public Health.