The Harford County Infants and Toddlers program provides early intervention services to children, ages 1 -5, who have delays in development or who are at risk for developmental delay. Services are provided at no cost to children living in Harford County. Participating public agency partners include Harford County Health Department, Harford County Public Schools, and Harford County Department of Social Services.
ELIGIBILITY: The Harford County Infants and Toddlers program is a program for families whose child may:
- Be at risk for developmental delay (due to premature birth, medical conditions, or other circumstances)
- Be delayed in development
- Cognitive (ability to think and solve problems)
- Physical (ability to move, see, and hear)
- Communication (ability to use and understand language)
- Social and Emotional (ability to have relationships with others)
- Adaptive (ability to perform self-care skills such as eating)
- Have atypical development (development that differs from their peers)
EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES: Services may include:
- Family Education/Support
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Service Coordination
- Special Instruction
- Speech and Language Services
LOCATION OF SERVICES: Services may be provided in the following settings:
- Community Settings
- Day Care
REFERRAL PROCESS: A child can be referred to the program by calling the Harford County Infants and Toddlers program office at 410-638-3823. Although most referrals are made by parents, anyone with a concern about a child’s development, and with parental consent, can refer. At the time of referral, general background information about the child and family and a description of developmental concerns will be taken.
EVALUATION PROCESS: After the referral is completed, evaluation information is gathered either from existing information or from evaluations conducted by Harford County Infants and Toddlers staff. For children who have existing evaluation information:
- Evaluation information is obtained, with parental consent
- Evaluation information is reviewed by the Evaluation and Assessment Team
- Eligibility is determined or additional evaluation and assessment information is recommended
For children who are evaluated through the Infants and Toddlers Program:
- Evaluation will be conducted by qualified early intervention personnel
- Evaluation will include assessment of all areas of development
- Evaluation may take place in a variety of settings (home, day care, early intervention center)
- Evaluation will use test instruments that are developed for children who are 0 – 3 years of age and are based on typical developmental milestones
- Evaluation is play-based and includes parent input
- Program eligibility is determined
- Family concerns, priorities and resources are discussed
SERVICE PROVISION: If the child is eligible for services, an interdisciplinary team, including the family, develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP is the document that integrates information about the child and the plan of service for the child and family. The IFSP documents:
- Strengths and needs of the child
- Concerns, priorities and resources of the family
- Developmental goals for the child
- Type of service necessary to achieve the identified goals
- Frequency and intensity of service provision
The IFSP is both a document and a process. It is reviewed at least every six months, but can be changed at any time as agreed upon by parents and the service provider. Federal and state regulations require that the IFSP be developed within 45 days of referral to the program. Services are provided by qualified personnel through:
- The Harford County Public School system
- The Harford County Health Department
- The Harford County Department of Social Services
- Other private agencies in Harford County and nearby areas
If the child is determined to be ineligible for services, referrals to community resources are facilitated as appropriate, and with parental consent.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PARENTS:
1. How is program eligibility determined? Children are eligible to receive services from the Infants and Toddlers program if they are between the ages of 1 – 5 and have a diagnosed condition that is known to lead to developmental delay; or have at least a 25% delay in any area of development: cognition, physical, communication, social and emotional, adaptive; or have atypical development in any area of delay.
Eligibility is determined by at least two qualified personnel and may include physicians, special educators, speech pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. The evaluation instruments used are designed for children ages 0 – 3 and are based on typical developmental milestones.
2. Who has access to information collected about my child and kept by the Infants and Toddlers Program? Information is maintained in the Early Intervention folder. The information is confidential and can only be shared or released with written parental consent. Only Program personnel directly related to your child have access to the Early Intervention folder. The Early Intervention Folder is kept by the Lead Agency for five years after eligibility ends (six years for children with medical assistance).
3. Can information be shared with my child’s pediatrician? Yes, with your consent, information can be shared with your child’s pediatrician or any other speciality physician of your choice.
4. How is the Program funded? The Program is funded by Federal, State, and Local government and Medical Assistance reimbursement. Services are provided at no cost to families.
5. Are there similar programs in other jurisdictions in Maryland? Yes. Each county and Baltimore City have a local Infants and Toddlers program.