November 2020 Newsletter

December 2, 2020

The term Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) may bring many things to mind, but what exactly is an IFSP?

When a child is 0-3 years old and found eligible for early intervention services, a team of professionals and parents meet together to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan. The IFSP is both the process of making the plan and the actual document.

This written plan describes what the child’s current situation is, what services will be provided to the child and their family, who will provide the services, and where the services will be provided. But how do you start the process to get an IFSP?

How Do You Get An Individualized Family Service Place (IFSP)?

The first step to getting an Individualized Family Service Plan is to have your child found eligible for early intervention services. To do this, the child must be referred to the state’s early intervention program (for South Carolina, BabyNet is where you'll want to go). Anyone can make a referral to BabyNet — whether it be a parent, a pediatrician, a daycare teacher, or even a close loved one. 

From there, you will be put in contact with an intake and eligibility coordinator. They will then explain how the process works and what you’ll need to do,

Next, the screening takes place. During the screening, a conversation will take place with you and the rest of the family about any concerns you have about your child's development. You’ll also talk about what resources your child has available to them as well as what their needs are.

Once the screening is done, you wait for the results.

If your child is found eligible and needs extra physical, communication, cognitive, or social-emotional help, the Early intervention services will begin with a referral to the family’s choice of EI provider That EI provider will begin the IFSP process with the family of which the first step is a more in depth assessment.

What Does An IFSP Include?

An IFSP can provide you and your child with all types of different early intervention services. The services that will become a part of your specific IFSP will depend on your child and your family's unique needs. The services can include some or a combination of any of the following:

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Psychological or social work services
  • Medical, nursing, or nutrition services
  • Hearing or vision services
  • Transportation
  • Special education services
  • Family training, counseling, and home visits
  • Respite care and other family support services


The IFSP will also explain how the early intervention process will work. It should include:


  • 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?

Many people are involved in the creation of the IFSP team including:

  • 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

 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. 

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.

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.

EI Spotlight

EI Brittany Ducket and Ms. Calleigh are all ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with their personalized turkey’s!!! Calleigh is so happy to have her!

Thank you Brittany for being such an asset to our team!!


Child Spotlight

“Greyson has made some major improvements in his speech and cognitive development! Greyson has improved in being able to fully complete tasks and following directions. Greyson is all boy and is very active, so completing tasks was difficult in the beginning, but now Greyson can stay on task and loves when he knows he has completed something!”

Great work, Greyson! I’m so proud of you!

-EI Kadie


Community Resources

Harvest Hope Donations

Harvest Hope is on a mission to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in South Carolina. They rescue nutritious food from stores throughout the state and distribute it to food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. Can you assist with the “Turning hunger into hope this holiday season.” Through the COVID-19 pandemic we are still working together to ensure no table is empty tonight.

November 1st–30th

Click HERE for more information.


DIY Flip Book

We all know that toddler flip books are a great way to build a toddlers’ vocabulary! Use this fun and easy method to help your little ones learn new words without worrying about them destroying their favorite flip book!


  • Picture Book/First 100 Words Book
  • Post-Its

Create a fun peekaboo activity with a toddler’s board books using post-it notes! It’s a great way to practice learning animals, shapes, colors and more! First, take the child’s board book and stick post it notes over the pictures (using different color post-its). Then, choose a page with the vocabulary you want your toddler to work on or a page they love to look at. (Each page of this book has a single theme, such as farm animals, shapes, colors or food.) Prompt the child to pull off each post it notes, (Asking them to name the animals, after a short pause assist by naming it for them and say the sounds that each animal makes.)


20-Month Milestones

Social and Emotional

  • Explores alone but with parent close by
  • Points to show others something interesting



  • Says several single words
  • Says at least 50 words


Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem- solving)

  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”
  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon


Gross/Fine Motor

  • Runs
  • Throws ball underhand



  • Begins potty training
  • Drinks from a cup

We are Hiring!

We need energetic, creative, motivated and passion driven professionals with great time and organizational skill managements.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, early childhood, social work, psychology, sociology, family & consumer science, or any related field
  • At least one year of experience working with children birth to six years old

Positions are available in the following counties:

  • Sumter
  • Columbia
  • Florence
  • Greenville
  • Charleston
  • Rock Hill
  • Lancaster

If you or someone you know is interested, visit our job application page at

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