The Role of the Ongoing Service Coordinator in Early Intervention
Your child has started to receive Early Intervention services and you have some concerns and questions — who should you call? That would be your Ongoing Service Coordinator (OSC), an important person in the process of Early Intervention services. The following information will let you know how communication with the ongoing service coordinator can be beneficial for you and your child during the Early Intervention process.
After a child’s evaluations have been performed and the child has been deemed eligible for Early Intervention services, the initial service coordinator will discuss the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process with the parent and inform the parent of the different components of the process. One component is the parent’s opportunity to select an OSC. The OSC may be selected at the IFSP meeting or at any other time after the formulation of the IFSP.
The OSC is defined in the regulations governing the program as “the service coordinator designated in the individualized family service plan.” The IFSP developed for an eligible child must include the name of the service coordinator selected by the parent who will be responsible for the implementation of the IFSP and coordination of agencies and the persons responsible for the delivery of services contained within the IFSP. We at the Therapy Center for Children have qualified staff members that can provide this service for the family.
The ongoing service coordinator is responsible for monitoring the delivery of Early Intervention services in accordance with the IFSP. Ongoing service coordinators provide parents with continuing opportunities to share information, priorities, and concerns regarding their IFSP. A variety of methods are available to the ongoing service coordinator for providing such opportunities to families, as well as monitoring and coordinating the provision of services in the IFSP. These include home visits and telephone contacts with the parent, other caregivers, and service providers. The ongoing service coordinator may also set up meetings with the parent and service providers to foster and support collaboration and integration of service strategies.
The ongoing service coordinator is also responsible for facilitating the child’s transition to preschool education services and/or other programs and services needed by the child and family as the child ages out of the Early Intervention Program, including the development of a transition plan. Most importantly the ongoing service coordinator is a welcoming and friendly voice on the other end of the phone, should there be any questions or concerns a family may have.
The Therapy Center for Children has staff members that are qualified to take on the role of ongoing service coordinator. These personnel usually have a caseload of 10-20 clients, so that they have time to give families the support that they need, to answer questions and address their concerns. The ongoing service coordinator is a go-between for the family and the Early Intervention Official Designee (EIOD). For more information about child development, Early Intervention and preschool services, please call us at (631) 207-1053.
* Please note the E.I.O.D. is also known as the initial ongoing service coordinator.
By Kimberly Foschi, MSED, OSC