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National Center on Secondary Education and Transition: Creating opportunities for youth with disabilities to achieve successful futures.

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Service Coordination

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.


Introduction

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 criteria, etc.);

  • 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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National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota
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This page was last updated on April 11, 2012.