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2001 Annual Report


First Steps, Kentucky's Early Intervention System is a comprehensive statewide system of
community-based, family-centered services for young children and their families with a
vision of maximizing the potential of infants and toddlers having, or at risk of having,
developmental delays. The Cabinet for Health Services is the lead agency for this interdisciplinary program that brings together education, health, and social services to meet the special needs of children and their families. In the 15 Area Developmental Districts (ADDs), Point of Entry offices are located to identify infants and toddlers with developmental delays and provide intake into early intervention services. Services are provided through an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) based on the family's resources, priorities and concerns.

On Dec. 1, 2000 data reflected a child count (point in time) of 3,510 receiving services according to an Individual Family Service Plan; 53 percent of the children being served were older than two years of age. In FY01, 6,945 eligible children were served, representing a 14.8 percent growth over FY00. Regularly scheduled child find and public awareness activities occurred throughout the State. 33 percent of referrals received were from allied health care providers. Services provided include: assessment, evaluation, service coordination, respite, transportation, nutrition, vision/hearing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, individualized family service planning, developmental intervention, assistive technology, communication development, and non-routine health services. First Steps initiated the Family Share program in July 2000, which is a sliding fee scale based on a family's total income and size. First Steps requires families to participate in Family Share to help defray the cost of the services identified in the IFSP, except evaluation, assessment, service coordination, and IFSP development. Total Revenue (federal) from the Part C program for State Fiscal Year July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001, was $6,007,062.

Seven Technical Assistance Teams, housed at the seven state universities consist of a Program and Parent Consultants who provide training and support services to local communities. The Technical Assistance Teams provided required training to 852 potential First Steps providers. Eight Program Evaluation Specialists also housed at the state universities, are responsible for service provider program reviews. The Program Evaluation Teams completed 147 reviews, 39 follow-up reviews, and responded to 20 formal complaints which were investigated and successfully resolved.

A number of special projects are funded through this program such as trainings for personnel serving children who are blind or visually impaired, multidisciplinary approaches to serving children with severe disabilities, and transition into preschool services. A variety of publications (brochures, guidelines for families to services, policies and procedures manual, and communication packets) have been produced. This report year some materials have been produced in Spanish format as well.

Significant FY 00-01 highlights include:

A program audit requested by the Legislative Program Review and Investigation Committee was completed by the State Auditor's Office.
First Steps merged with the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs(Title V).
A self-assessment for the Federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process (CIMP) was completed. The Cabinet contracted with a consulting firm to conduct a time and cost/salary study with First Steps providers. A Task Force worked toward moving Kentucky closer to meeting federal and state mandates regarding natural environments. A policy statement and self-assessment tool were developed. Training was also developed and offered to service providers.
A study (COSMIK project) was funded to focus on investigating the ways in which the leveland intensity of early intervention services are provided to families and children, birth to age three, are determined.
Quarterly newsletters and communication packets were distributed.
An annual multidisciplinary conference was held with over 600 individuals in attendance.
Kentucky's Early Intervention System Interagency Coordinating Council (KEIS-ICC) is a 25-member council appointed by the Governor, meets approximately six times a year and provides advice and assistance to the Cabinet for Health Services in carrying out its responsibilities. Local coordinating committees, called District Early Intervention Committees (DEICs), are located in each of the 15 ADD districts, and facilitate interagency coordination and promote service delivery. DEICs have worked on activities to promote child find, improve transition, increase communication between providers and parents, and worked to identify service gaps. Parents, as well as public and private service providers, serve on both the KEIS-ICC and DEICs.

KEIS-ICC worked toward accomplishing their 2000-2001 goals:

1. Actively participate in the OSEP Continuous Monitoring Process (CIMP). ACTION: Twelve ICC members served on the OSEP CIMP Steering Committee. ICC CIMP Steering Committee members also served on one of the five Part C Self-Assessment cluster work groups.

2. Actively participate in the planning process related to the KEIS/Department for Public Health merger.

ACTION: The ICC requested and received updates on the progress of the merger at each ICC meeting. ICC members were invited and attended the Department for Public Health Board of Commissioners' meetings. Hosted a Question and Answer Session during the Infant/Toddler Conference for KEIS providers and interested parties about the merger process.

3. Increase communications and involvement with the 15 District Early Intervention Committees (DEICs). ACTION: ICC members attended monthly DEIC meetings in their local areas. DEIC representatives were invited to ICC meetings to report on activities. Polled all DEICs to identify issues they wanted addressed at the ICC sponsored Question and Answer session during the Infant/Toddler Conference.

Department for Public Health/Division of Adult and Child Health Improvement/ First Steps
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40621
(502) 564-3756
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Last Updated 2/18/2005