Individualized Family Service Plan - IFSP - South Carolina


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What is an IFSP / FSP?

If you are eligible for Early Intervention services in South Carolina, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or a Family Service Plan (FSP) will be developed by your Early Intervention provider – that’s us! This service plan is like a map to guide you through your child’s early intervention journey. It explains every service you will receive, how it will be delivered, and how it will be funded.


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The IFSP / FSP is for families with infants & toddlers (Ages 0-5) who are experiencing developmental delays or disabilities.

Before you receive an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Family Service Plan (FSP), you must first be determined eligible for Early Intervention services in South Carolina. In SC, Early Intervention is exclusively for for infants and toddlers from birth to five years old, who are progressing slowly in any of these key child development milestones:
  • Learning to Walk
  • Learning to Listen and Talk
  • Height & Weight
  • Getting Along With Others
  • Learning How to Think
  • Doing Things on Their Own
Talk to your child’s pediatrician.
Early Intervention services might be available for you at no cost through a South Carolina state funding program called BabyNet or through DDSN, but you must first be screened, eligible and approved.


Your E.I. will help to develop your IFSP / FSP.

The Early Interventionist you get matched with will work with you to identify your child’s developmental needs. They’ll visit your home to provide teaching and training to help your child develop through play and everyday routines. They’ll also connect you with other valuable resources in SC. To work with us, just tell your initial screener at BabyNet or DDSN, “I want to work with About Play.”
Once eligible, your child will be assigned an Early Interventionist or EI. The EI will complete a Family Assessment in order to then develop your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This Family Assessment is a semi-structured clinical interview designed to help families decide on their child’s outcomes and goals so an individualized plan can be developed. The interview will be a discussion of the child’s day-to-day living and provide an accurate description of child and family functioning, so areas of improvement and priorities can be established. It will also help to establish a positive relationship between the family and the early interventionist.
During the assessment, the EI will pay close attention and note where they see opportunities for the child in five key areas:
  • Social engagement – The ability to interact with others
  • Adaptive skills – The ability to perform self-care
  • Communication skills – The ability to understand spoken language and express themselves
  • Motor skills – The ability to demonstrate gross motor movement and fine motor skills
  • Cognitive skills – The ability to think rationally and problem solve

When Do I Receive an IFSP / FSP in South Carolina?

Remember, the first step of the Referral Process for Early Intervention in SC is to contact BabyNet or DDSN if your child is experiencing a developmental delay, or is diagnosed with a disability. Then, after an initial screening on the phone, a Family & Child Assessment will be scheduled and completed to further determine your child’s eligibility for receiving Early Intervention services.

After it’s been determined that your child is indeed eligible for Early Intervention – that’s when your Early Interventionist will work on providing an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Family Service Plan (FSP) for your child and family.

What does an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) include in South Carolina?

The IFSP is very important. It’s your roadmap to receiving Early Intervention services. So, it is highly customized to your child’s needs and developmental delays, as well as the needs of your family. The services in your IFSP may include some combination of the following services and resources:
  • Family training, counseling, and home visits
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Hearing or vision services
  • Psychological or social work services
  • Medical, nursing, or nutrition services
  • Transportation
  • Special education services
  • Respite care and other family support services
The IFSP will also explain how the Early Intervention process will work for your child and family. It will explain the following things:
  • Why your child needs services
  • Information on your child’s current level of physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and adaptive development
  • Types of services that will be provided, who will provide the services, and how often the services will occur
  • Projected start date of services
  • Where the services will be provided
  • How long each session will last
  • Who will pay for the services
  • Name of the service coordinator overseeing the IFSP
  • What outcomes are expected to be achieved for your child
  • Steps that will be taken to support the child’s transition into another program when they turn 3 years old and if they qualify
  • Required signatures: parents and authorized persons for agencies providing services need to sign the document

Who Helps Create An IFSP?

Your IFSP will be created by an IFSP team which includes many important people:

  • A service coordinator: this person ensures the whole process moves as smoothly as possible by arranging meetings, communicating with team members, and helping locate community resources.
  • A parent or legal caregiver
  • Other family members as requested by the parents or guardians
  • An advocate from outside the family if arranged by the family
  • Any professionals directly involved in evaluating the child’s needs
  • Anyone who will provide early intervention services for your child or family
Specialists may be involved in the process as well but the type of specialist will depend on your child’s specific needs. The types of specialists that may be involved include:
  • Health care providers
  • Therapist (ST, PT, or OT)
  • Child development specialist (EI)
  • Social worker
  • Daycare-Preschool teachers

What Happens After the IFSP is Created?

Once the IFSP is created and signed by the family, the plan can be implemented and the child can start benefiting from the services. The first step of implementing the IFSP is to describe the services to the child in a way they can understand. You want them to know what is going to happen. After that, the early intervention professionals will use the IFSP to customize their services to best fit the child’s needs.
The IFSP team will review the document every six months and must update it at least once a year. The group will look at how the child has progressed and if the family situation has changed at all. What services the child needs and what resources the family receives may be changed according to the child’s progress. The family’s resources, priorities, and concerns along with the developmental goals will drive the intervention strategies and services.
The IFSP is a working document that should evolve as your child develops and gains skills or as your family’s resources, priorities, and concerns change.

Transition Planning — Moving from an IFSP to an IEP

Once the child is close to turning three years old, transition planning begins. This ensures the process from early intervention to preschool or another community program goes smoothly. Additionally, your child will be referred to the school district for eligibility determination. If found eligible for school services, then the Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is like an IFSP but for older children through their local school districts will be completed.
During the transition process, the team should consider whether the child would benefit from being in an inclusive environment or what other support or services need to be provided.
If your child has a developmental delay or disability, they may be eligible for early intervention services. With an IFSP, your child will receive the support and services they need to learn and grow — and the sooner they start, the better! For more information, contact our team at About Play today.

If you live in South Carolina and think your infant or child is experiencing developmental delays, we can help.