How to Create IPP/IFSP Goals
You have successfully applied to your local Regional Center and been approved to receive funding and/or services. What’s next?
After your initial intake meeting, a Regional Center service coordinator will schedule an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) meeting or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting with you. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the meeting, and how to plan meaningful goals that match the services your child needs.
What to Know About IPP and IFSP
Most Regional Centers refer to an IPP (Individualized Program Plan) for children over age three and an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) for children under age three. Clarify with your service coordinator if you are ever confused about the terminology.
Like an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the IPP/IFSP is a document that describes your child’s needs, goals, and objectives as well as the services and supports your child will need to achieve those goals and objectives.
Creating Goals Based on Regional Center Services You’re Seeking
If You Don’t Have Goals Yet, Where Should You Start?
Lisa Concoff Kronbeck, Undivided’s Public Benefits Specialist, says that parents may not know what services they should ask for, but they can start by thinking about their child’s short-term and long-term goals and go from there. This is where person-centered planning comes in. What are your child’s hopes, dreams, and wishes for the future? What kind of life do they want to have, and what supports do they need to achieve it? For more on what person-centered planning is, check out this clip from Chris Arroyo, regional manager at the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities:
More About Measurable Goals
When Do You Have to Attend an IPP/IFSP Meeting?
Regional Center clients are required to attend an IPP/IFSP meeting every three years if they are not enrolled in Medi-Cal. However, all Regional Center clients are entitled to an annual person-centered planning meeting, so you can ask to schedule the meeting more often than every three years. If your child is not enrolled in Medi-Cal (either the traditional way or through the institutional deeming waiver), the IPP/IFSP meeting must occur every year.
Tips for a Successful IPP/IFSP Meeting
Arroyo says that the IPP/IFSP is a list of “all the things the Regional Center is going to do as well as evidence that they are monitoring and making sure your needs get met. It represents the obligation that the Regional Center has to you and your family.” For that reason, you want to make sure everything you’re asking for is addressed in the document. Here’s what to remember going into the meeting:
Unlike an IEP, it’s usually just the parent and the Regional Center service coordinator who create the IPP/IFSP, sometimes with the participation of their supervisor. The coordinator has thirty days after your meeting to write the report. It’s a good idea to give them notes so that they don’t forget things you asked for.
You are entitled to have a decision-maker present, so if your coordinator always has to go back and ask the supervisor about your request, ask that the supervisor attend the meeting.
If they say no to your request, ask for prior written notice or a letter of denial. They have to write a denial if you ask for something that they don’t or won’t provide.
Self-Determination and IPP/IFSP Goals
What questions do you still have about IPP/IFSP goals? Reach out to us and let us know!