Iowa IDEA Information

The Guidance System for Iowa IDEA Information (i3) site includes guidance, resources, and procedures for Early ACCESS (ages 0-3) and Special Education (ages 3-21).

Early ACCESS Procedures

Resources for Early ACCESS Service Coordinators

Early ACCESS Service Coordination Training

This Service Coordinator Competency Training Manual outlines the service coordination training requirements for the State of Iowa.

The online modules are one component to the SC training requirements.

Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI)

Dual Role and dedicated service coordinators can use reflections tools to support their role within the FGRBI Framework. Use these tools for self-reflection of practices as well as reflection with peers to grow service coordination knowledge and skills within FGRBI.


Setting the Stage for FGRBI: The role of the service coordinator (4:16)
Service coordinators play a vital role in supporting families in Early ACCESS. Watch as some of Iowa’s service coordinators describe how they set the stage for families beginning intervention by describing FGRBI and by supporting families to identify key routines and priorities.

Service Coordination Resources

DEC/ITCA Joint Position Statement on Service Coordination in Early Intervention

Knowledge and Skills for Service Coordinators

DHS Information Letter No. 2012-FFS and Service Coordinator Medicaid Matrix, May 2019

The Iowa Medicaid Enterprise has collaborated with representatives from the Iowa Department of Education, Child Health Specialty Clinics, Public Health, and the Early ACCESS program to update the Infant and Toddler Service Coordination Matrix.  The matrix includes all the activities an infant and toddler case manager will complete under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Medicaid. This informational letter establishes which services are billable to which program.

Early ACCESS Training and Information

ACHIEVE Resources

ACHIEVE Meeting Purposes A one page document that lists Early ACCESS meeting purposes.

Early Childhood Outcomes Decision Tree & Outcomes A two page document that contains the ECO Decision Tree and descriptions of the outcome areas.

CHSC Nutrition Referral in ACHIEVE Document for service coordinators that explains how to refer a child to CHSC for nutrition services.

Intake Early ACCESS Family Questionnaire Document that can be shared with families for completing the Intake Questionnaire.

Recorded Trainings and Resources for Service Coordinators and Providers

CHSC Early ACCESS Nutrition Training, December 2020 (17:05)

This presentation includes information for service providers to connect families to CHSC nutrition services and reviews the process for making an Early ACCESS nutrition referral. Here are the slides with notes.

Iowa Early ACCESS Diagnosed Conditions Eligibility List, June 2020 (07:05)

This presentation introduces Iowa’s Diagnosed Conditions Eligibility List and reviews eligibility for Iowa’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA Part C system, known as Early ACCESS.  Here are the slides with notes.

*The link to Iowa’s Diagnosed Conditions Eligibility list is now available on the resources section of  i3 instead of the Iowa Family Support Network as indicated in the recording.

Using the SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic, April 2020 (13:29)

ECTA has a webpage with resources and several video illustrations regarding use of technology for providers and educators. One video posted on the ECTA website, Using the SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic, discusses the use of the SS-OO-PP-RR framework for guiding home visits, whether in-person or through video conferencing, and also reviews general considerations when delivering home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the link to the video: SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Early ACCESS Final Exit Codes, July 2019 (8:19)

This presentation gives a brief overview for Early ACCESS service coordinators and providers on final exit codes that are used when a child and their family exits Early ACCESS. The final exit code flow chart is reviewed and additional information about exiting Early ACCESS is available on i3. Here are the slides with notes.

Collaboration Between Community Partners and Early ACCESS

This Guidance for Collaboration Between Community Partners & Early ACCESS is designed to promote coordination and collaboration among Early ACCESS providers and their community partners (e.g. Early Head Start, child care including family child care, home visitation programs, child welfare agency, etc.) by clarifying roles and responsibilities so appropriate expectations are understood, opportunities for connections are increased, and service duplication and gaps are addressed. An accompanying self-assessment can assist teams in identifying areas to strengthen their partnership.

Note: To use the documents, “make a copy” in Google Drive or “download as Word”.

Family Assessment

Early ACCESS service coordinators and providers can use this assessment organizer to ease their selection of family assessment tools. Multiple tools can be used and chosen from different categories to best fit the family’s needs.

Information for Referral Sources

This section includes frequently asked questions from professionals that make referrals to Early ACCESS.

 

Question: Who can make a referral to Early ACCESS?

Answer: Families or anyone who works with with families can refer a child, birth to 3 years of age, to Early ACCESS.  If you have a concern, don’t “wait and see”, let Early ACCESS take a look and see if they qualify for Early ACCESS.  Read this handout about the developmental milestones, if you have a concern- refer.

Question: What is the minimum information needed to make a referral to Early ACCESS?

Answer: In order to make a referral, the parent must be informed of the referral and agree to sharing information. Required information includes:

  • Child’s first and last name
  • Child’s date of birth
  • Language spoken and interpreter needs
  • Child’s address
  • The name and contact information of one parent.  If child does not live with parent, the name of or person child lives with
  • Referral source name, phone number and address
  • Reason for the Referral

Question: Is a signed consent to release and exchange information required to make a referral to Early ACCESS?

Answer: Verbal consent is acceptable to make a referral and share minimum information. Signed authorization to release and exchange information is required if medical records are shared with Early ACCESS at the time of referral.

If the referral source would like to exchange information between Early ACCESS and referring agency after a child has been referred, signed authorization to release and exchange information is required.  Here is an Authorization to Release and Exchange Information that you can complete and send with the referral.

Use this Early ACCESS Referral Card to remind families of the Early ACCESS referral.

Early ACCESS Referral Process

Question: How are referrals processed by the Iowa Family Support Network (IFSN) once information is provided by phone, e-mail or on-line?

Answer: If an address is provided in the email or phone call, the referral is sent to the corresponding Area Education Agency (AEA). The AEA will assign a local service coordinator to contact the family. The service coordinator will make a minimum of three attempts to contact the family within 14 calendar days of receiving the referral.

If there is not an address provided, EveryStep will call the family to obtain more information and then assign to the appropriate AEA for the service coordinator to contact the family.

If the referral was submitted by filling out the online form, the referral does not go through IFSN staff to process.  Instead, the system automatically sends the referral to the AEA that serves the address of child.

There are nine AEAs that serve all of Iowa. Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC) also provides service coordination in parts of Iowa.

If you have made a referral to an AEA and have follow up questions or concerns, contact the Early ACCESS Liaison for the AEA that child was referred to or a member of the Early ACCESS state team.

Early ACCESS Eligibility

Question: What is the eligibility criteria for Early ACCESS?

Answer: To be eligible for Early ACCESS, a child living in Iowa must be under three years of age and  have a 25% delay in one or more areas of development OR have a qualifying diagnosed condition.

Question: What makes a child automatically eligible for Early ACCESS?

Answer: Children with certain diagnosed conditions are automatically eligible for Early ACCESS services without requiring an evaluation.

Examples of diagnosed conditions that are automatically eligible for Early ACCESS include:

  • Preterm birth less than 32 weeks gestation
  • Very low birth weight, less than 1500 grams (3 pounds 5 ounces)
  • Blood lead level of 20 mcg/dL
  • Hearing loss
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Certain genetic or congenital conditions

This Iowa Early ACCESS Diagnosed Conditions Eligibility List includes diagnosed conditions that qualify for Early ACCESS.

Children with diagnosed conditions not on the list should be referred to Early ACCESS so they can be screened, and/or evaluated to determine if they meet the criteria for Early ACCESS eligibility.

Question: How will a referral source find out if a child is eligible for Early ACCESS?

Answer: Referral results may be shared if there is a signed authorization to release and exchange information provided by the referral source OR Early ACCESS was able to obtain authorization to release and exchange information from the family. Here is an Authorization to Release and Exchange Information that you can complete and send with the referral. Referral sources will want to speak to the service coordinator that was assigned to the family.