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Individualized Family Service Plan and Individualized Education Program

Individualized family service plans (IFSPs) and individualized education programs (IEPs) are both processes and documents that reflect the American belief that young children with disabilities or developmental delays and their families can benefit from early intervention programs. These processes ensure that children and families have a right to appropriate, integrated, and even free supports in their community, regardless of the challenges experienced early in a child’s life and a family’s socioeconomic status.

The IFSP is associated generally with children under age 3 and their families, although states can choose to extend its use to older children. The IEP is associated with children 3 to 21 years, who are eligible for public school special education services. This entry focuses on the IFSP for infants and toddlers and ...

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