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Questions from the Field

The following are clarifications to questions from the field, organized by categories, and will be updated periodically. The most recent questions/answers will be placed at the top of each category. Further clarifications and other questions from the field should be directed to the region's Technical Assistance Coordinator.

Assistive Technology Procedural Safeguards
IFSP Service Coordination
Natural Environments Transition
Team Communication and Collaboration FAQ - Eligibility
Evaluation and Assessment  

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Assistive Technology

When is an assistive technology device considered to be a Part C service?
Assistive technology, like other Part C services, can only be identified through the Individualized Family Service Planning (IFSP) process. Assistive technology devices may be considered a Part C service if there is documentation in the child’s record that other modifications, adaptations and strategies have been tried, but have not been successful in assisting the child in making  progress towards achieving a functional outcome of his/her IFSP.  If progress is being made without the assistive technology device, WV Birth to Three is not responsible for providing the device as a Part C service. Assistive technology may not be considered a Part C service if identified within six months of the child turning three, as there would be little opportunity for the equipment to be used to achieve an outcome while the child is still participating in WV Birth to Three.  The WV Birth to Three team, in this situation, would assist the family in looking at other funding sources for the purchase of assistive technology needed for the next environment.

(Remember – IFSP outcomes should never be written solely to get a piece of equipment.)

What is the process for recommending assistive technology for a child?
WV Birth to Three is responsible for providing services to assist the family to be able to support improvement in their child’s development and progress toward achieving their IFSP outcomes. When the IFSP team, including the family, determines that progress cannot be made towards an identified IFSP outcome without assistive technology, the team is responsible for evaluating an option that is cost effective and fits within the family’s daily routine. It is important that families understand the nature of any device that is recommended, especially as it relates to how the device is used and the size and weight of the device.

The IFSP team, including the Service Coordinator, will decide if there is a member of the current IFSP team who already has the knowledge and skills to complete the assistive technology assessment or if the family needs to select an additional practitioner to assist with assessing the child’s participation needs.  An assessment of possible appropriate assistive technology begins with the evaluation of low tech adaptations and modifications before exploring more complex devices.  

All team members need to participate in the selection process, as there may be implications across the child’s development.  Team members can participate and give input via phone call or email, as long as there is documentation that a conversation has occurred and consensus has been reached in regards to the recommendation.  The Service Coordinator, with the assistance of the team, then completes the Assistive Technology Request and Service Authorization Request forms, along with appropriate supporting documentation, and mails or emails them to the WV Birth to Three State Office. 

Does AT equipment have to be returned to Part C after a child turns three?

Equipment purchased by the WV Birth to Three System is the property of the State WVBTT System.

Loaned equipment and/or devices must be returned to the WV Birth to Three System when:

1.) The child no longer needs the equipment;

2.) The child turns three (refer to long term loan agreement for conditions when child may

      maintain use of the equipment after age three); or

3.) The child moves to another state.

The child/family’s transition plan should identify whether the child/family needs to maintain use of the equipment/device after the child exits the WV Birth to Three System at age three.  The Service Coordinator and family are responsible for ensuring that the equipment is returned under the terms of the WV Birth to Three Assistive Technology Loan Agreement. 

Could you please provide specifics as to whether or not there are limitations on AT requests as related to professional qualifications?

WV Birth to Three, as the lead agency for Part C, is responsible for assuring that professionals who provide Part C services are qualified.  Individuals with expertise in assistive technology assessment and implementation should present that information on the Service Directory. This ensures that families are able to select practitioners with the appropriate expertise to evaluate the child’s functional limitations and to determine if the IFSP outcome can be achieved with modifications or adaptations prior to the need for assistive technology. 

There may be situations where WVBTT will look to see if someone with this appropriate expertise participated in the determination of the need for assistive technology, such as: requests for devices that manipulate a child's posture, gait or alignment; requests for alternative communication options; or devices to be used with children with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) or hearing loss.

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Evaluation and Assessment

What is my role when I am chosen to be part of a child’s evaluation and assessment team? Does the evaluation and/or assessment report have to be available prior to the IFSP meeting to all team members? What should be included in an assessment report?

Please see the Technical Assistance Bulletin on Clarification of Requirements for Completing WV Birth to Three Evaluation and Assessment Activities.   


When does the 15-day timeline to complete evaluation and assessment activities start:  the day the practitioner receives the Practitioner Confirmation form or the day the practitioner confirms their availability?

The 15-day timeline begins on the date the Service Coordinator confirms the availability of a practitioner.


If I cannot be at the eligibility determination meeting, may I participate in another way? 

Yes, Federal law allows participation in one of four ways: attendance face-to-face, telephone conference call, written report, or authorized representative.  Each team member is responsible for coordinating their participation with the Service Coordinator and other team members. At least one member of the multi-disciplinary evaluation/assessment team must be available face-to-face or by phone during the eligibility determination meeting in order to answer questions the family may have. A Service Coordinator must be present face-to-face for the eligibility determination meeting to occur.


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Can intensity/frequency be determined on a child’s IFSP if the discipline determined to deliver the service is not present?

The IFSP team, including the family, may determine the intensity and frequency of needed services if the formal evaluation/assessment report provides sufficient information to enable the IFSP team to arrive at such a decision.  If the IFSP team does not have sufficient information to determine whether a service is needed to achieve the identified outcomes, then the team will reconvene at a later date to further evaluate the need for such a service.

Can an IFSP be changed without the Service Coordinator in attendance?

No.  The Service Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the family’s procedural safeguards throughout the family’s participation within the WV Birth to Three System. 

If a Developmental Specialist is seeing a child and the family has speech concerns but the Developmental Specialist feels comfortable addressing the concerns, do they have to call in a Speech Therapist?

No. The team, including the family, should first consider whether anyone currently involved with the child/family has the expertise/knowledge needed.  This may include WV Birth to Three practitioners on the child/family’s team, or other agencies/individuals currently supporting the child/family. If other resources currently exist in the child/family’s life, the family may want to invite them to be part of the IFSP process in order to help the family and other team members address the concerns.  If no one currently involved with the child/family have the additional expertise that is needed, the Service Coordinator will assist the family to select an appropriate enrolled WV Birth to Three practitioner to complete an assessment to address the family’s concerns.  Once the assessment is complete, the Service Coordinator should reconvene the IFSP team to determine if modifications to outcomes, services or strategies are needed.

When all services are being provided in a child care setting or in a location where the parents are not present, should the parent be involved in some way?   

Yes. Parents should always be involved in the implementation of the IFSP.  The family evaluates the effectiveness of services.  Even though the child care provider may need assistance to help the child achieve an IFSP outcome, the team should also be working in conjunction with the parents and child to support the family in promoting the child’s development.  

When is it appropriate to provide services in a child care setting?

WVBTT services could be provided in a child care setting if the IFSP team determines that the child care provider needs assistance in modifying or adapting the environment and activities to promote the participation of the eligible child. It seems unlikely that most licensed child care providers would need this assistance long term, since they are in the business of knowing and promoting child development for all children in their setting.

If an IFSP is written for services to be provided in the home but the family requests a single visit at the child care to provide consultation and training to the child care staff, can the visit occur without changing the IFSP?

Yes, that would be fine as long as there is documentation of the need for the support and the parent’s request. 


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Procedural Safeguards

I am working with a grandparent who provides child care to her grandchild in her home. This grandmother has been very involved in the evaluation/assessment process and the provision of services. Which release do I use to share information with the grandmother?  

In this circumstance, even though the grandmother is a very important member of the early intervention team, the Service Coordinator will discuss with the parents what information they would like to be shared with the grandparent and then request written permission. You must use the Consent for WV Birth to Three to Release Information form.

When should I use the Reciprocal Consent for the WV Birth to Three Team to Share Information?

The Reciprocal Consent for the WV Birth to Three Team to Share Information is used to obtain the family’s written permission for the enrolled WV Birth to Three team members to communicate when they are selected as part of the multi-disciplinary evaluation/assessment team, as part of the IFSP development team, or selected to provide ongoing IFSP services.

When I arrived at a home visit, the mother had been called to work at the last moment and asked her boyfriend to baby sit and be available for my home visit.  Was it okay for me to provide services on that day?

In this circumstance, the mother requested that the boyfriend act in the role of a parent for this one home visit. If the boyfriend has been actively involved in the child’s care and was able to provide information as to how the child is progressing and how the strategies are working, then you were okay to go ahead and provide service on that day. You should include in your documentation of the visit that the mother requested the visit to occur with the boyfriend. If on the other hand, the boyfriend is not able to talk about how the strategies are working, any new concerns, etc., then you should reschedule the appointment, since you would not be able to carry out the Part C service. In either circumstance, you should call the Service Coordinator to inform them of the situation.  The Service Coordinator needs to check with the mother to see if she wants the boyfriend to be involved in the early intervention strategies, and if so, then the Service Coordinator will have the mother sign a Consent for WV Birth to Three to Release Information form in order to share information with the boyfriend.

Which form should I use to release and share information when services are to be provided in the child care center?

Since the purpose of providing services in the child care center is to assist the child care providers in modifying or adapting activities to promote the child’s participation, the child care center should have been involved in decisions to provide services at the center. As such, the parents likely would have identified them as important to invite to the IFSP meeting. The parents would sign the Consent for WV Birth to Three to Release Information form in order to share information with the child care center staff. 

Which form should I use to release and share information when I am coordinating transition services for a child?

In this circumstance, you need to use the Consent for WV Birth to Three to Release Information form.  Transition procedures require the Service Coordinator to request the family’s written permission to release relevant information from the early intervention record (a copy of pertinent evaluation/assessment reports, a copy the IFSP and the Transition Summary Update form) to assist in the smooth transition of the child to preschool services.  The child’s WV Birth to Three team members may also need to have on-going communication with possible receiving program. If so, check “Other” and write “on-going communication with ________________ in regards to Johnny’s transition into the Pre-K classroom”.  

If a formal written complaint is filed, what is the process of resolution?

If the complaint is regarding the implementation of a Part C regulation, please refer to pages 16 and 17 of the printed Procedural Safeguards Booklet or pages 8 and 9 on the electronic version posted on the WVBTT website. 

Sometimes, WV Birth to Three receives written complaints that are not in regards to a violation of a Part C regulation, such as issues with quality of documentation, billing irregularities, practitioner disagreements, etc.  For these types of concerns, the CQI Coordinator investigates and responds as appropriate.

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Natural Environments

I have always provided services in a clinic setting.  If a family chooses me, can that be their natural environment?

No. The selection of a practitioner for IFSP services occurs only after the IFSP outcomes and strategies have been identified. 

A clinic setting does not meet the criteria for a natural environment. Natural environments as defined by federal regulations, reads “to the maximum extent appropriate to meet the needs of the child, (1) early intervention services must be provided in home and community settings in which children without disabilities and their families participate and (2) settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disability.” 

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Service Coordination

How can I find out about all of the services available to help families and exactly who they will help

Service Coordinators are responsible for learning about services and supports that are available statewide, or that may be unique to the community where infants/toddlers and their families live.  This may include preschool special education services through the local school system, Early Head Start and Head Start, child care, private preschool, Parents as Teachers, Mommy and Me groups, YMCA, Family Support Councils, and Advocacy groups such as WV Parent Training and Information.     

The Central Directory in each RAU region should include resources specific to the counties in that region, providing a basic description of the resources and contact information.  Other options include checking out both the DHHR and WV Birth to Three website for links to resources.  The DHHR website includes links to important financial resources such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), HealthCheck, Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Children with Disabilities Community Service Program (CDCSP), Medicaid, and Child Care.

Should an Ongoing Service Coordinator be notified within two days of being selected by a family to better be able to participate in initial IFSP meetings? 

Yes. The Service Coordinator serves an integral role to the children and families of WV Birth to Three (WVBTT).  Service coordination is the critical link to ensuring each child and family is helped to understand their procedural safeguards and that services provided in a timely fashion.   Please refer to the Technical Assistance Bulletin - Understanding the Different Roles of the Interim and Ongoing Service Coordinator in the WVBTT System

If the family being served does not have a lot of "needs", is it appropriate for the Service Coordinator to make visits 6 times a year or even once every three months versus monthly or weekly?

Monthly or weekly visits are not required. Decisions about the intensity of service coordination services, as with any IFSP service, should be made on an individualized basis, depending on the circumstances and needs of the child and family.  The IFSP should record the frequency/intensity in a manner that it is clear when the service will be provided. A frequency of ‘six times per year’ does not indicate when the visits are to occur. The frequency should be recorded as to how many visits will occur in a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

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Team Communication and Collaboration

How often should team members communicate with one another?

Each individual team, including the family, will decide what method of communication is most effective for members on that team. The frequency and methods by which team members will communicate should be discussed and determined at the child and family’s initial IFSP and on an ongoing basis.


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