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: Understanding Systems, Processes, and Practices
(Formerly referred to as Foundations I)
Topics covered in this course include: family systems, the Early Start system, making decisions using evidence-based practice, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process, and supporting families using coaching and other help-giving practices.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Discuss the critical role of the family and family support in the care and development of young children with disabilities.
- Describe Early Start program eligibility, program requirements and procedural safeguards.
- Research, appraise and identify appropriate evidence-based early intervention practices.
- Explain the IFSP process, including required components and timelines.
- Describe the practices related to and benefits of coaching and relationship-based approaches to early intervention services.
Course Content Week-by-Week
Week 1-2: Family Systems
- Family systems theory
- Family characteristics and roles
- Family interactions and supports
- Impact of stressors and protective factors on family functioning
- Family support resources
Week 3-4: Early Start System
- Federal statute and regulations
- California statute and regulations
- State and federal system components and partners
- Performance plan and annual performance report
- Eligibility: developmental delay, established risk
- Procedural safeguards: parents’ rights, mediation, due process, complaints
Week 5-6: Utilizing Evidence-Based Practice
- What is evidence-based practice?
- Process for evidence-based decision-making
- PICO: Defining a research question
- Research resources
- Relevance, validity and reliability
Week 7-8: IFSP Development
- Phases and timelines
- Family concerns, priorities and resources
- Transition at age
Week 9-10: Supporting Families Using Coaching and Other Help-Giving Practices
- The impact of help-giving practices on family functioning and early intervention effectiveness
- Types of help-giving supports and services
- Principles of partnership
- Steps of coaching: Initiation, observation, action, reflection, feedback