Columbia Montour Snyder Union
Counties of Central Pennsylvania
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Central Susquehanna Valley
Local Interagency Coordinating Council


 

Child Find Procedures

 

CMSU Early Intervention engages in regular child find activities on an ongoing basis. These activities are designed to identify children who either have developmental delays or at risk for developing developmental delays early on. CMSU Early Intervention works in conjunction with the Central Susquehanna Interagency Coordinating Council and other agencies in locating and identifying children in need. Every attempt possible is made to reduce duplication of services and to provide services in a manner that is culturally sensitive. Each agency will provide information on any other agency's programs that may benefit or be of interest to the family. OCDEL places special focus upon children being referred who are considered homeless, wards of the state, involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect, or are identified as "affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure."

OCDEL uses the definition for homeless children found in McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act, reauthorized 2002. A homeless child is one who: "1) lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; and 2) includes: a) children & youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or a waiting foster care placement; b)children & youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; c) children & youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and d) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii)."

A ward of the state is defined as "means a child who, as determined by the state where the child resides, is a foster child, is a ward of the state, or is in the custody of a public child welfare agency. The term does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a parent."

In the process of locating and identifying children, outreach is done on an ongoing basis to local physicians, hospitals, child care providers, agencies and to the general public. Efforts include participating in local children's fairs, sharing developmental information with the public, mailing of brochures, and conducting mass screening. Demographic information is used in the location and identification of children with developmental needs. CMSU EI works in partnership with local children & youth offices to insure that children are referred appropriately to early intervention (Children's Integrated Plan). In addition, information is shared at the same time regarding the state's early intervention program, CMSU's early intervention program, the central directory, and local resources.

CMSU EI also provides information to individuals and/or agencies regarding accessing early intervention services both locally and across the state. This process is often connected to phone calls that come into the office seeking information in general on early intervention. Information is also available on CMSU's website.

Referrals are made to CMSU for early intervention services with parents' prior approval. When another agency has identified a child as needing to be referred to CMSU, the agency gains permission from the family to make the referral and makes the referral within two days of receiving permission.

Each year, a plan shall be developed that targets more specifically the outreach to be done over the year. This plan is developed in conjunction with the CSV LICC. The plan will utilize information gleaned from the previous fiscal year's referral data as well as from demographic information. It is recognized that the full impact of outreach may not be evidenced for a year or two. See attached summary which includes the child find plan for 0-3. This summary and plan may also be found on CMSU's website.

 

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