Referrals to the Birth through Five Program can be made by the child's pediatrician, the hospital discharge planner or the parent. Once the referral is received by the program secretary, it is given to a Service Coordinator. The Service Coordinator is either a nurse or a special educator and is determined based on the information provided at the time of the referral.
The Service Coordinator will contact the parent or guardian to set up an appointment to complete the Intake Interview. At the Intake Interview, the Service Coordinator determines the primary need(s) for the child and makes the appropriate referral(s) to the appropriate provider(s) - i.e. Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, or Speech-Language Pathologist - for evaluation.
When able, the service providers will attempt to arrange their schedules to enable completion of the evaluations at the same time. The team, which includes the parents or guardian, will then meet to discuss the written evaluations and write the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This process from receipt of referral to the completion of the IFSP must occur within 45 days.
The Birth through Five Program is designed to be a parent coaching model. In other words, the therapists teach the family how to teach their child, so it is very important that a parent or primary caregiver be present for the subsequent visits. The initial visit for each related service must begin within 30 days of writing the IFSP. Following visits will occur as agreed upon in the written plan.