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Early On Child Find In Service Sept. 2007

Sharon LaPointe from LaPointe & Butler, P.C.
The Child Find document is protected and should not be changed or updated, it is owned by LaPointe & Butler. E-Mail

Sharon's legal practice is devoted almost exclusively to the representation of school districts on matters relating to special education and Section 504. Sharon's educational background includes a masters degree in clinical psychology and a specialist degree in school psychological services. Her past professional experience includes ten years as a school psychologist. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at Central Michigan University in the area of education of the learning disabled. In addition to representing school districts, Sharon has served as a hearing officer in special education due process hearings

La Pointe & Butler P.C.
2143 Commons Pkwy. Okemos, MI 48864

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Early On Child Find In Service Sept. 2007

  1. 1. Child Find in IDEA Part B and Part C Presented by Sharon L. LaPointe LaPointe & Butler PC Okemos MI 48864
  2. 2. Introduction to Child Find Identify, locate, evaluate Children “suspected” of having a disability 0-26 in Michigan – In or out of school: • Preschoolers • Drop-outs • Migrant/homeless • Children in foster care – Public or private schooled IDEA 04 concerned about students falling through the cracks: homeless, transfer/ migratory students, wards of state, private school students
  3. 3. Introduction to Child Find General concepts for identifying children with suspected disabilities – Requires knowledge • Of what constitutes a disability • Specifically the “conditions” and suspected adverse impact – Requires efforts • In house • Out house – Requires documentation
  5. 5. Part One Current Part C Statutory and Regulatory Language
  6. 6. IDEA 2004 Part C Congressional Findings (A-15) “Urgent and substantial need”: – To recognize the significant brain development that occurs during a child’s first 3 years – To enhance ability to child-find and meet needs of all children, particularly…..infants and toddlers in foster care.
  7. 7. Part C-State Grant Requirements Additional language requiring Statewide early intervention system to include : (A- 16) – A rigorous definition of developmental delay – Child find referral system to “ensure rigorous standards for appropriately identifying infants and toddlers with disabilities for services under this part that will reduce the need for future services.”
  8. 8. Part C-State Grant Requirements Why the focus on rigorous definition of developmental delay? – Portal term – ITWD=individual under 3 who needs early intervention services because • experiencing developmental delays as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in 1 or more of the areas of cognitive, physical, communication, social or emotional, and adaptive development • Has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay (established condition)
  9. 9. Part C-State Grant Requirements Additional language requiring – Public awareness program information disseminated by lead agency to all primary referral sources • “to be given to” versus “for” parents • “especially to inform parents with premature infants, or infants with other physical risk factors associated with learning or developmental complications • Not just EIS under Part C, but also SE under Part B- Section 619. – See A-16
  10. 10. Flex C State Incentive Grants If federal Part C appropriations exceed $460,000,000 in any fiscal year – USDOE to reserve 15% of total Part C appropriation for State Flex C grants (S-166#1) • Flex C allows parents of Part C eligible children who also eligible for Part B SE under Section 619 to elect (pre-3) either continued EIS under Part C or FAPE under 619 until enter/eligible to enter kindergarten – Not applicable in FY 05($444) or 06 because appropriation did not exceed $460M.
  11. 11. IDEA 2004 Requirements if State Does Flex C If State participates in Flex C – State system for Part C must include • Mandatory referral for evaluation for EIS – of any child » Joint Conference Committee Report reflects House ceded to Senate language, which described as child below 3 » Actual IDEA language doesn’t limit; presumably would include 0-5 – experiencing substantiated trauma from family violence per Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. See A-38
  12. 12. Part C State Application: Mandatory Referral? Added language/assurances – State policies/procedures that “require the referral for EIS...of a child under the age of 3 who • Is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect, or • Is identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure” – Joint Conference Committee Report indicates that this is really a referral for screening (as to whether a suspected disability versus evaluation due to already suspected disability).
  13. 13. Part Two Proposed Part C Regulations
  14. 14. Proposed Child Find Changes (A-19 & 20) Would clarify that child find includes methods for determining which children are in need of early intervention services and which are not Would add language requiring child find coordination with – Head Start and Early Head Start – Child protection programs, – State agency responsible for administering Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) – Programs that provide services under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act for States electing to make EIS available to 3-5 yr olds.
  15. 15. Proposed Referral Changes Currently referral required within 2 working days from time that child identified as suspected Part C (A-30) Because USDOE anticipating more referrals, 2 WD’s not practicable; proposing “as soon as possible” after identified. Mandatory referral of specific at-risk children – involved in substantiated case of child abuse/neglect – ID’d as affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug abuse (A-22)
  16. 16. Proposed Referral Changes Expanded definition of “primary referral sources” – Schools, clinics, public agencies and staff in child welfare system including child protective service and foster care, homeless family shelters, and domestic violence shelters and agencies for States electing to make EIS available for 3-5 year olds – See A-22
  17. 17. Screening (A-24) Always allowed pre-referral New language to allow post-referral – ID from increased # of potential referrals those potentially eligible for EIS – If screening indicates that child is suspected of having a disability, lead agency must conduct evaluation to determine – If screening suggests that not disabled, notice to parent that will not be conducting an evaluation • If parent requests evaluation, then must conduct – If child’s eligibility already determined
  18. 18. PART B & MMSEA Children/Students with Disabilities (Ages 3-26)
  19. 19. Part One General Principles
  20. 20. Reasons Districts Should Care About Child Find Fulfilling obligation under the law Assisting a child in need Early intervention should help AYP Bad things can happen when you don’t – See Lakin v. Birmingham Public Schools • Court awards partial reimbursement for private placement.
  21. 21. Case Law on Successful Community Child Find Widely disseminate information Use media/organizations as outlets Develop/participate in outreach programs Document ongoing efforts Child Find efforts are systemic until the district has a specific suspicion, e.g., a specific parent inquiry is made See Doe v. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, 34 IDELR 256 (6th Cir. 2001).
  22. 22. In-House Child Find All staff are potential child-finders Training on red flags – Excessive disciplinary referrals – Failing grades – Low achievement scores – Excessive absenteeism RTI can be effective tool – IDEA 2004 allows districts receiving Part B funds to use up to 15% for early intervening services • At risk K-12 children not eligible for special education
  23. 23. Intervention 1 2 5 4 3 Gen Ed Intensive 1 2 Special Ed 5 3 Instruction: 4 Core & 1 General Education Intensive 2 With Support Program 5 3 4 Amount of Targeted Resources General Instruction: Core Needed To Solve Education & Supplemental Problem Program Benchmark Instruction: Core Program Intensity of Problem
  24. 24. Part Two Child Find and Non-Public Schools
  25. 25. Parentally Placed Private School Children –IDEA 04 Regs Regulations apply to parentally-placed children with disabilities enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools as defined by state law. – In Michigan, “school” is grades K-12. See generally, USDOE guidance “Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools” (March 2006)
  26. 26. IDEA 04 and Private Schools General Assurances (A-2) – Apply to district where the private school is located, aka DOL – Proportionate share of Part B funds • State and local funds may supplement, but not supplant the proportionate share of federal $ • Share based on results of thorough and complete child find after timely and meaningful consultation with private school reps • LEA records on # evaluated, #eligible, # served Practice Tip: Private schools not a post- script.
  27. 27. Private School Assurances Child find process (A-2) – Designed to ensure accurate count and equitable participation – Similar activities and time frames as for public school students – CF/eval costs can’t be counted toward proportionate share requirements Practice Tip: Child Find activities and timelines must be documented.
  28. 28. Private School Assurances Timely, meaningful consultation (A-2):: – Child find process: how parent-placed private school (PPPS) children suspected of having disability can participate equitably; how parents, teachers and officials informed of – Ongoing consultation between LEA, private school officials and parent representatives – How and when service decisions made – Written explanation if LEA disagrees with private school views on provision of services or types Practice Tip: Develop checklists, logs, forms
  29. 29. Private School Child Find Limitation Fitzgerald v. Camdenton Sch. Dist., 45 IDELR 59 (8th Cir. 2006): – Court ruled that school district attempting to fulfill child find did not have the unfettered right to conduct evaluation of child with suspected disability by override hearing, where parents waived IDEA rights • Refused consent • Withdrew student to home school • Evaluated privately and provided SE services through private sources Codified by IDEA 2004 regulations
  30. 30. Parentally Placed Private School Children– IDEA 04 Regs (A-4) District where private school located (DOL) is responsible for child find. – Parent may refuse consent for evaluation. DOL cannot override refusal. – Child find responsibility includes reevaluation. – DOL must provide procedural safeguards notice upon conducting initial evaluation. Child find obligation is for all enrolled students, even if not residents of Michigan.
  31. 31. Parentally Placed Private School Children– IDEA 04 Regs District of residence (DOR) responsible for making FAPE available to child. (A-11) – Need not offer if parent makes clear intent to keep child in private school – DOL cannot notify DOR that it has identified a CWD who is resident of DOR without parental consent (A-10) – DOR could be required to do FAPE evaluation at same time DOL doing child find evaluation (A-11)
  32. 32. Parentally Placed Private School Children– IDEA 04 Regs Parental rights for alleged CF violations in private school situations: – Parent may request due process hearing against DOL for violation of child find requirements – identification and evaluation – For child find, parent entitled to all procedural safeguards from DOL, including IEEs – Parent may also file Part 8 complaint against DOL on child find issues – Parent limited to Part 8 complaint on offer or provision of services issues