Service Coordination Handbook

Every day as Early Start service coordinators, you are faced with the challenge of implementing federal and state requirements under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the California Early Intervention Services Act. A great deal of best practice information is available at the national level about coordinating services for infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities and their families. In addition, many regional centers and local educational agencies (LEAs) in California have developed Early Start policies and procedures specific to their communities. The Early Start Service Coordination Handbook is a comprehensive, versatile, and user-friendly technical assistance tool designed to provide specific guidance for California’s service coordinators to assist them in their daily work. It can easily be adapted to meet your individual needs and those of your agency.Service coordinators, parents, service providers, and other professionals who are knowledgeable about Early Start developed the Handbook. The intent was to provide an understanding of the requirements and complexities of service coordination including ideas gleaned from the early intervention field about how to implement those requirements.

The Handbook is organized into topic specific sections that address required service coordination functions and activities from procedural safeguards to child find to the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process and supporting resources. Chapters are generally organized as follows:

  • Table of Contents: Details the contents of each section.
  • Key Concepts: Specifies critical coordination principles at a glance.
  • Overview: A deeper narrative of the service coordination requirements pertinent to the specific section.
  • Service Coordinator Responsibilities: Outlines required service coordination activities governed by statutes and regulations and what you need to document in the child’s record.
  • Quality Practices: Ideas culled from current evidence and recommended practice resources for accomplishing service coordinator responsibilities.
  • Tips for Success: Suggests strategies for accomplishing required functions linked to quality practices.

Additionally, checklists and other resources pertaining to each chapter are referenced within the chapter and maintained in a comprehensive collection called Handbook Resources for Early Start Service Coordination.

Your Handbook can be adapted to meet your individual needs. Chapters may be viewed online, downloaded and stored digitally, or printed to be shared with families or other professionals. Pages or chapters will be regularly updated online with alerts to new and/or revised material disseminated through the Early Start Neighborhood.