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FCESS Eligibility

In order to qualify for FCESS, a child must meet one or more of the following criteria as outlined by the State regulation governing this program (HEM510[1]):

1. Developmental Delay of 33%

in one or more of the following areas:
- Cognitive development
- Communication development
- Social, emotional, behavioral development
- Fine and/or gross motor development
- Adaptive development

2. Established Condition:

The child is diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that is likely to result in a developmental delay. Examples include: genetic disorders, metabolic disorders, congenital malformations, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, severe attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, toxic exposures. Download a more comprehensive list of such conditions.

3. At-Risk for Substantial Developmental Delay

( as a result of the environment or related to birth): A child can be eligible if five or more at-risk factors apply.Download a complete list of at-risk factors. FCESS-NHS will review information from the family, referral source, medical records, and the eligibility initial assessment to determine if a child meets eligibility criteria. Once a child is eligible, FCESS will work with the child and family and conduct annual evaluations to determine if the child continues to be eligible. Continuous progress monitoring of the child’s skills will occur and the family will receive continual feedback.


Initial and Annual Assessments

As required by the State, NHS-FCESS conducts a formal assessment using the Infant Toddler Development Assessment (IDA). Two licensed evaluators from the program observe and interact with the child using play-based methodologies to assess the level of age-appropriate skills in the following areas: gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, language/communication, self-help, relationship to people, emotions and feelings and coping/behavior. The assessment typically lasts about an hour and is conducted in the family’s home (unless otherwise requested by the family).
Parents participate in the assessment providing critical information regarding their child’s skills, personality, likes, dislikes, etc.


At the end of the assessment, parents are informed of eligibility and a meeting to develop an “individual family support plan (IFSP)” will be scheduled. If the child is not eligible, the assessment team will discuss local community resources and leave the family with an informational packet. At any point in the future, a family may call ESS for a follow –up referral and evaluation.

For eligible children, an annual assessment is conducted by a multi-disciplinary team at least one time per year however at times the multidisciplinary team may decide to conduct specialized consults or more than one assessment to ascertain how a child is progressing in a particular skill area.


Individual Family Support Plan (IFSP)

The IFSP is the written document developed by parents/guardians, ESS staff, and other collaborating stakeholders. The plan is based on outcomes for the child and what parents would like to see their child be able to accomplish.

The IFSP is reviewed minimally every six months and at least one time a year, the plan is updated to reflect current skill levels based on a eligibility re-evaluation using the IDA and possibly other informal assessment tools as prescribed by specific clinicians involved with the child.
In addition, ESS utilizes the current NH Early Learning Guidelines to develop many child and family outcomes and uses this guide as a resource for discussion and progress monitoring.



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