Family-Centered Early Supports and Services
A strong start in life is critical for babies and small children, especially if there are concerns about developmental delay and various risk factors. For families in northern Rockingham County, One Sky can play a crucial role. New Hampshire’s Family-Centered Early Supports and Services (ESS) are available from birth to the third birthday for children who have established developmental conditions, developmental delays of at least 33% in one area, or are at risk of a substantial developmental delay. This is determined by an ESS assessment team affiliated with One Sky. Services are designed to enhance the child’s growth and development and support the family with assistance through:
- Support and information regarding infant/toddler development
- Home-based services for the child and family
- Comprehensive coordination of services and programs in which families can participate
- Transition assistance to available community supports and services at age three
- Consultative services to other community programs
How do I get started?
Anybody can make a referral to One Sky’s Early Supports and Services program – parent, relative, friend, pediatrician, or childcare provider. Many inquiries come from parents who are concerned that their child is not keeping pace with peers, or simply sense that something is not quite right. Parents know their own child’s abilities and frustrations best. When we receive a phone call, we ask a few basic questions, and then refer your child to one of our specialized programs for assessment. The agencies that provide our ESS assessments and services are The Richie McFarland Children’s Center and Child and Family Services
How do I know if my child is elibigle?
An assessment is scheduled to take place in the family’s home – the most comfortable and familiar place for most young children. The process is a lot like play and is usually enjoyable for both child and parents. The therapy team may include professionals in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, early childhood education, behavioral intervention, social work, and other consultative services. At the time of the assessment, parents are informed about their child’s eligibility, according to criteria set by the State of New Hampshire. Subsequent services are individually designed, based on discussions between the parents and the assessment team. By working closely with families, we help parents express their concerns, prioritize their needs, explore their resources and set a course of action. Learn more about ESS eligibility
What happens next?
An Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) is developed by the family, the therapists, and anyone else the family wishes to include. It reflects the self-identified strengths, needs, and priorities of the family as well as the strengths and needs of the child as identified by the therapeutic team. The plan contains goals, activities and supports that the family has chosen. It reflects unique needs and strengths of the family and is intended to support them in the context of their lives and communities.
Services are provided in “natural settings” such as the child’s home or where care of the child is provided, within Region VIII. These include instruction and therapeutic services that maximize the family’s ability to understand and care for the child’s developmental, functional, and behavioral needs.
Can I afford this service for my child?
Family Centered Early Supports and Services are funded through state and federal funds, Medicaid and private insurance as well as other community resources. No child will be declined for services because of the family’s lack of financial resources.
What happens when my child turns three?
Each child who enters Early Supports and Services receives service coordination. As a child moves through ESS, it is the Service Coordinator’s role to make sure that the child’s transition into the school system or other community settings will be done in a seamless manner.
Are there other services my family can receive?
Yes. One Sky’s Family Services for ESS recipients include information, referral, and financial assistance for disability-related expenses or respite care.
What is Respite Care?
Respite provides families with short-term relief from the responsibilities of caring for a family member of any age living at home.Care may be provided in the home of the family or caregiver, or in the community. the number of respite hours varies, depending on the level of complexity of the child’s care. Financial assistance is based on a sliding scale. One Sky encourages families to recruit their own providers, but will assist if necessary. We also link families so they may form their own support networks. If you would like to learn more about respite care, please contact our Respite Coordinator.
What ESS has done for me: Lilly’s story