This topic outlines how coordination of cross-agency services for
youth with disabilities and their families can build professional
connections and provide families with a single contact to identify
supports. Service coordination reflects a shift from case management
to family support and focuses on person- and family-centered planning,
inclusion, and self-determination.
The coordination of cross-agency services for youth with disabilities, their
families, and the interagency transition team can build professional connections
and provide families with a single contact to identify supports. This concept
of service coordination can be implemented on two levels:
- At a system level: Policies require agencies to work together; to create
agreements among school districts, counties, health organizations,
and other entities; and to detail how they will provide and fund services.
- At an individual level: Direct service is provided through a service coordinator
to children and youth with disabilities, their families, and the professionals
who support them.
Service coordinators at the individual level provide direct service, whereas
service coordinators at the system level promote collaboration among various
organizations that serve youth with disabilities. This Web topic focuses on
service coordination at the individual level.
Service coordination reflects a shift from case management to family support
and focuses on person- and family-centered planning, inclusion, and self-determination.
A service coordinator’s responsibilities begin with outlining the desires,
strengths, and life goals of the person with the disability. All programs, services,
and supports are directed by the individual and their family,
with the goal of their participation in the community.
In general, service coordination tasks include:
- Coordinating services on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their
families across agency lines;
- Serving as a single point of contact in helping families obtain the assistance
they need and the services their children need;
- Assisting families in gaining access to services (for example, providing
information on services, assisting them in understanding service eligibility
- Continuously seeking available and appropriate services for individuals
with disabilities and their families;
- Coordinating eligibility of evaluations and assessments;
- Supporting the ongoing review and evaluation of individual service plans;
- Informing families of the availability of advocacy services, including
legal, professional, and individual advocacy assistance;
- Working to ensure that teachers and other school personnel have access to information on community services and supports; and
- Managing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
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