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Principles for Development of Family-Centered Outcomes

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  • Outcomes should be the result of the ongoing process of gathering and sharing information that began with the family’s entry into the system. Consequently, outcomes identified by the family may reflect not only concerns they had prior to referral, but also concerns based on information and knowledge shared by service providers.

  • Language used to describe IFSP outcomes, strategies and services should reflect family preferences and be understandable to all team members.

  • Families don’t necessarily identify unrealistic outcomes – but may identify outcomes that we don’t know how to meet. If family members identify an outcome that you don’t know how to help them meet, try to find out if there is another way of looking at that particular outcome. In other words, why has the family identified that outcome? If we know why this outcome is important to the family, then we can begin to identify alternative ways to help them get there. (We want…”in order to” do what?)

  • Family and professional actions needed to bring about IFSP outcomes should be clearly stated as part of strategies and services included in the plan. (What will we do to get there? Who will do it?)

  • Family and Community strengths and resources should be mobilized as part of the IFSP process before professional resources are used. The IFSP should promote interdependence with members of the family’s community, not dependence on service providers. (Who will do it?)

  • Strategies and services should fit naturally into the family’s daily life and should not add additional stress to families (What will we do to get there? Who will do it?)

Criteria and timeliness for evaluating outcomes should reflect family priorities and “Team” consensus.

Ask Dr. Susan