Determining BabyNet Eligibility

June 20, 2022

BabyNet is the interagency early intervention system in South Carolina. It’s meant for infants and toddlers under the age of three who have developmental delays or a health condition where developmental delays are one of the symptoms.

The eligibility requirements for BabyNet are pretty simple but it’s important to know what they are before you apply. 

BabyNet Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for BabyNet, your child needs to be under 36 months of age and have a history that indicates they are at risk for a developmental disability or are already showing signs of a developmental disability.

To determine eligibility, an assessment is done. It’s mainly done to determine how at risk your child is for a developmental disability or what developmental issues they are already displaying. The results of that assessment determine whether your child receives early intervention services or not.

But what exactly is the person assessing your child looking for?

Your infant or toddler needs to show that they are experiencing a developmental delay of 40% in one area of development or a delay of 25% in two areas of development.

These areas include:

  • cognitive development
  • physical development
  • communication development
  • social or emotional development
  • adapative development

Another way to be eligible is for your child to have been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that puts them at high risk (or high probability) for a developmental disability. This can include:

  • chromosomal abnormalities
  • genetic or congenital disorders
  • sensory impairments
  • inborn errors of metabolism
  • disorders reflecting disturbance of the development of the nervous system
  • congenital infections
  • severe attachment disorders
  • complications of prematurity
  • disorders secondary to exposure to toxic substances (like fetal alcohol syndrome)

How To Apply For BabyNet

Applying for eligibility with BabyNet is called a referral. The referral process is free. You simply have to fill out the online form, call the Central Referral Team, or you can download the form, fill it out, and send it in. 

Anyone can refer a child to BabyNet, whether it be a parent, a loved one, a pediatrician, or even a teacher. 

Once the referral form is sent in, the process goes into motion and they will contact you to schedule an assessment.

What’s Needed To Determine BabyNet Eligibility?

To help with the assessment, a few things are needed before the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Social Needs decides your child is eligible for early intervention services. They will need:

  • Information including your child’s date of birth and social security number
  • Medical records
  • Any other records or assessments that show your child is at risk for a developmental disability

What Services Does BabyNet Provide?

If your child is eligible and approved for Babynet, they gain access to quite a few early intervention services. Which ones they are involved in depends on their needs and their specific disability. These services include:

  • Service coordination
  • Family support stipends for specialized equipment
  • Respite services
  • Family training/special instruction
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Assistive technology

These services are not just for the child either. There are also services to help out the whole family as well.

How Much Does BabyNet Cost?

BabyNet costs absolutely nothing. It’s funded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and is managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This ensures that your child can receive help without you having to worry about how you’re going to pay for it.

As long as you live in South Carolina and your child meets the eligibility requirements for Babynet, the services that are included in your Individualized Family Service Plan are all free. This makes it accessible to everyone who is approved.

Does your child meet BabyNet's eligibility requirements? The faster you refer them and enroll them in services, the better! If you have any questions about the referral process or your child's eligibility, feel free to give us a call or contact us online. We're happy to get started supporting your child and family on this new journey!

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