The complete FOUNDATIONS SERIES includes three online courses and the hybrid-delivery Foundations Practicum. The courses literally provide the foundation of Early Start requirements, procedures and practices. Online Foundations courses may be taken in any order or concurrently; there are no prerequisites for participation. However, participants must successfully complete all three Foundations online courses before attending the Foundations Practicum. Scroll down for a description of course objectives and week-by-week course content.

Foundations: Working through the IFSP Process
(Formerly referred to as Foundations II) 

Topics covered in this course include: an introduction to child development; screening, evaluation and assessment; writing functional outcomes; working in natural environments for families; and selecting and developing interventions.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the differences among typical child development, developmental delays, and developmental differences.
  • Describe Early Start evaluation and assessment requirements and recommended practices.
  • Write a functional outcome statement that is measurable and meaningful.
  • Describe the delivery and benefits of services in natural environments for families.
  • Identify intervention strategies based on the assessed needs of a child and the natural environments and resources of the child’s family.

Course Content Week-by-Week

Week 1-2: Early Child Development

  • Early brain development
  • Developmental domains and stages
  • Developmental differences and delays
  • Levels of intervention
  • Risks and protective factors

Week 3-4: Screening, Evaluation and Assessment

  • Assessment team members
  • Definitions: screening, evaluation, assessment
  • Components of a comprehensive assessment
  • Family assessment
  • Assessment tools
  • Communicating about assessment results

Week 5-6: Creating Functional Outcomes

  • What is an outcome?
  • Child and family outcomes
  • Required outcome components
  • Functional outcomes
  • SMART outcome statements

Week 7-8: Natural Environments for Families

  • Natural environments: everyday routines, relationships, activities, places and partnerships
  • Requirements and principles
  • Benefits of providing services in natural environments of children and families
  • Justifications

Week 9-10: Selecting and Developing Interventions

  • Factors to consider in selecting and developing interventions
  • Integrating assessment results to determine services
  • Service approaches: relationship-based, play-based, natural learning opportunities
  • Providing services through coaching
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