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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 5, Lesson 3

Importance of Community Partnerships

family eating togetherAs we saw in the last lesson, one of the biggest differences between the previous service delivery system and the enhanced Early Steps system is that most supports and services provided to the child and family happen now in the family's everyday routines, activities, and places (ERAP). Places can be the home, childcare, neighborhood play group, community settings, etc. In addition, informal community resources and supports are identified and utilized for services. Another difference is the use of the Primary Service Provider (PSP). The use of this model of service delivery requires strong working relationships among all the professionals who are listed on the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP).

In Lesson 2 we learned that families vary in make-up, stability, socio-economic levels and education. They have various expectations for their children. It is important to realize that the family functions in the surrounding community. Communities vary in size, history, geography and socio-economic levels. Within these communities are entities that care for and/or have contact with families in the Early Steps service delivery system. They need to work in partnership with the other important people in children's lives. The "whole child" must be considered as well as all of the factors that may affect this child - in the community as well as the home.


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