Families often have many questions about Boost Collaborative and early intervention. Finding the right program and services for a child is a rewarding experience, but at times can be a bit overwhelming. The early intervention team is here to help parents every step of the way. Here are some frequently asked questions Boost Collaborative receives that may help you get started:
Q: What is IDEA Part C?
A: I.D.E.A, short for “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act”, is a federal law created to encourage states to develop services for children and youth with disabilities. Part C of the act guides states in providing services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) is the state agency responsible for ensuring our state’s compliance with Part C of this federal law.
Q: What are the costs associated with this program?
A: Screenings, evaluation and assessment are services provided at no cost to families. Boost Collaborative receives funds from multiple sources (e.g. Whitman County Developmental Services, local school districts, Washington State Department of Early Learning/Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT), United Way, and private donors) to pay for services and supports not covered by medical insurance and parent fees. Our goal is to make sure all families and children can access needed services and supports, regardless of ability to pay.
Q: What if I decide that I no longer want to participate in the program, or I no longer want a particular service listed in my child’s plan?
A: Our program is completely voluntary. Parents have the right to decline services at any time.
Q: I work fulltime and my child attends fulltime childcare. How can I get services without missing too much work?
A: Our team provides most services in ‘natural environments’, that is, the environments where children typically spend their time. We provide services in multiple childcare and community settings, through coordination with parents and their child’s care provider.
Q: I don’t live in Garfield or Whitman County, WA or I will be moving to a new county or state in the near future. How can I find a program like Boost Collaborative in my community?
A: In Washington State, every community or geographical area has an agency similar to Boost Collaborative, called the Local Lead Agency. Our staff can help families locate the appropriate agency in other communities across the state. We are often also able to connect families to programs in other states.
Q: I am separated from my child’s other parent, and am concerned that he/she will not agree with pursuing your services. What can I do?
A: While we encourage both parents to participate in our services, any parent can contact us and request our help when they have a concern about their child’s development. At least one parent or legal guardian must sign permissions to provide evaluation, gather information from other providers, and provide services.
Q: I keep hearing that playing with my child is important. Where can I find more ideas for helping my child learn through play?
A: The Boston Children’s Museum developed this website to underscore that play is a vital activity that children use to learn about and interact with their world, and gain the mental, physical, and social skills necessary to succeed in their adult lives: http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/power-of-play
Q: How long after I make a call to Boost Collaborative before I can expect to get help for my child?
A: Because brain development is so critical in the first three years of life, federal law requires that our team complete evaluation, assessment, and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) within 45 calendar days of referral, and begin services within 30 days of parent consent for services, given at the IFSP meeting. Parents can assist us in meeting these important timelines by partnering with us to schedule appointments and meetings as soon as possible.
Q: I or my child's primary medical provider have concerns about my child’s development. What do I do now?
A: A doctor's referral is not necessary before contacting us; anyone with a concern about a child’s development can request developmental screenings and/ or evaluations from our program. However, we encourage parents to discuss concerns with their child's doctor.
More questions? Contact Boost Collaborative at 509-332-4420