Family Service Plans are documents that result from a process of working with families to help parents determine specialized developmental needs of young children. These children usually range in age from birth to three years of age.
Many benefits to the family can be realized with a strong Family Service plan including:
- An established method of talking about and reporting a particular child’s developing needs within both his or her immediate and extended families.
- A focus-based program that can pinpoint the most critical goals of each family, which can include a written plan that provides a blueprint for the next six to twelve months.
- A plan that incorporates both suggestions and ideas from multiple trained professionals as well individual family members.
- Access to community programs that can support the family from an educational or medical standpoint as well as an entrance point to many other disciplines such as occupational and speech therapy, health and nutrition, education and child development.
The typical components of a Family Service Plan may include:
- Involved Parties. A Family Service Plan will list a coordinator as well as other professionals who will be providing services. In some cases, the individuals responsible for paying the bills will also be listed.
- Present Functional Levels. By outlining a child’s current level of functioning, a Family Service Plan can be individualized and goal-oriented. Information may include medication conditions, cognitive assessments and communication skills.
- Family Background. The family’s goals and priorities are taken seriously in formulating a Family Service plan. Concerns and input about the child’s strengths and weaknesses will be taken into account.
- Services and Outcomes. Both the recommended specific services, including frequency and duration, as well as a outcome-based goals will be included in the Family Service Plan. Goals should be short-term and measurable and will likely change as the child develops.