Early Intervention Services During COVID-19
COVID-19 has altered the delivery of services for families involved in the Early Intervention Birth to Three Program. Overnight we pivoted from providing in-person supports to using tele-intervention to conduct evaluations and provide ongoing supports.
We are currently completing tele-evaluations to assess a child’s development to determine eligibility for services through video conferencing or phone conferencing. When necessary, an in-person developmental assessment can also be completed while adhering to CDC, PA Department of Health and Governor Wolf’s Targeted Mitigation Efforts.
Once a child is determined eligible for Early Intervention, we provide tele-intervention through video conferencing and phone conferencing to provide developmental services on the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). In-person supports can be considered when there are barriers to implementing tele-intervention to include access issues, lack of progress, or an intermittent need to address an outcome. In-person supports are provided while adhering to CDC, PA Department of Health and Governor Wolf’s Targeted Mitigation Efforts. The decision of how services will be provided is a team discussion where the family and caregivers are a part of the decision-making process.
Services provided include: Support Coordination, Social Work, Speech Therapy, Special Instruction, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. We also assist with making referrals to other programs and share information about local resources. Early Intervention team members have resources and information available to share with families specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early Intervention can share resources including learning activities for children, financial supports such as food and diapers, and supports to encourage the adults in the home as they adjust to a “new normal”.
*Providing any type of in-person services depends on the family’s ability to follow the required guidelines and the COVID testing/cases in our County. At any time, we may be required to cease any in person assessments and services.
Making a Referral:
We continue to accept new referrals to Early Intervention. Our referral process continues to be the same. A referral to Early Intervention can be completed by anyone who has contact with the child including parents, relatives, childcare staff, and medical professionals, etc. Once the family/caregiver agrees, we will proceed with the referral.
If your child is between the ages of birth to three years old:
Referrals can be made by contacting the Lancaster County Early Intervention office at (717) 399-7323 or by sending a fax to (717) 399-7396. Early Intervention referrals can also be made to the CONNECT helpline at 1-800-692-7288.