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 Practicum 
(Formerly called Foundations Institute) 

This course is the culminating course in the Early Start Foundations series. The Early Start Foundations Institute provides practical application of foundational skills and knowledge engages participants in analysis of child and family assessment and status information and guides participants in the creation of effective, meaningful and compliant Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

Course Objectives

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

  • Write functional child and family outcomes for an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) based on assessment results, including family assessments.
  • Investigate/Propose strategies for working with families who are traditionally underserved by Part C early intervention services, including families who are homeless, families living in poverty, foster families and Native American families.
  • Identify/Practice strategies that increase collaboration appropriate to their role/scope as an Early Start team member.
  • Practice/Model coaching strategies that may be used to enhance the capacity of families to support the development of their children.

Week-by-Week Online Course Activities

Week 1: Early Start Referral

  • Receipt and review of Early Start referral information
  • Understanding and implementing relationship-based approaches to services
  • Reflection and discussion through online forum

Week 2: Meet the Family

  • Review of intake information
  • Introduction to the Routines-Based Interview (RBI)
  • Developing family interview questions

Week 3: Family Assessment

  • Analysis of interviews and assessments to determine family concerns, priorities and resources
  • Introduction to RBI – Scale for Assessment of Family Enjoyment of Routines (SAFER)
  • Reflection and discussion through online forum

Week 4: Evaluation and Assessment

  • Receipt and review of assessment reports
  • Developing child and family outcome areas
  • Reflection and discussion through online forum

Week 5: Health Status Review

  • Receipt and review of family and child health history, medical records and additional collateral documents
  • Introduction to the health status review section of the IFSP
  • Reflection and discussion through online forum

Week 6: Preparing for the Initial Team Meeting

  • Drafting child and family outcome statements
  • Reflection and discussion through online forum

Onsite Training Activities

Day 1: IFSP Start to Finish

  • Practical review and analysis of child and family information
  • Writing, critiquing and finalizing outcome statements
  • Identifying settings, services and outcomes
  • Critiquing, revising and finalizing the IFSP
  • Implementing services in YOUR community

Day 2: Relationship-Based Practices and the Parallel Process

  • Observation
  • Inquiry as intervention
  • Reflective practices for family and team support

Prerequisites for Foundations Practicum: Completion of all three Foundations online courses

  • Foundations: Understanding Systems, Processes and Practices
  • Foundations: Working through the IFSP Process
  • Foundations: Partnering for Effective Service Delivery
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