EIP/First Steps Frequently Asked Questions

Early Intervention Program/First Steps Program Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t know if my child needs therapy?

For referrals to the Early Intervention Program (EIP)/First Steps Program (FSTP), the Admin Coordinator (AC) will make first contact with new families who are referred for more than one therapy service. Typically, the AC will phone the parents within two weeks of receiving the referral. The AC will then share this information with the Therapy Department Directors and will coordinate a date for the Initial Consultation (IC). For children being referred for only one therapy service, a therapist will be in contact with the family within two weeks of receiving the referral to arrange a time for an Initial Consultation (IC).

At what age is it appropriate to refer?

It's never too early to refer if you have concerns about a child's development. The research clearly tells us that the earlier intervention begins, the better the outcomes are.

What if I’m not sure if you provide the service my child needs?

Refer anyway. If we are not the appropriate agency to help, we will guide you to the one that is.

How long will I have to wait to see someone once I refer?

For referrals to the Early Intervention Program (EIP)/First Steps Program, a Family Support Worker, (FSW) sees all new families who are referred for more than one therapy service. Typically, the FSW meets with parents within one week of receiving the referral for an Intake meeting. The FSW finds out what the family needs and asks the parents/guardians to sign the consents and authorizations in preparation for their Initial Consultations (IC) with therapists.

For children being referred for only one therapy service, a therapist will contact the family within two weeks of receiving the referral.

After the IC there will likely be a waiting period before ongoing services begin. If while waiting the family situation changes, i.e., new contact information/address or health/ability changes an additional consultation may be requested by calling 604-463-0881. In addition, families may be invited to participate in a small group that was recommended at the time of the Initial Consultation.

What do services cost?

Therapy services are free to families. Fees are charged for some services, including therapy groups and parent education courses. These fees are to cover the costs of supplies/materials used in the groups. Subsidies may be available as the cost of the groups should not limit any family from participating.

What happens when a child transitions to Kindergarten?

RMCDC staff recognize the importance of this transition and are committed to working with the families and the school district to ensure that the process of discharge from RMCDC services to Kindergarten entry is a positive experience.

Transition to Kindergarten Process
September

  • All children eligible to enter Kindergarten next fall will be identified.
  • A Kindergarten Transition Booklet, a Release to SD #42 form and an acknowledgment form will be distributed to each family by their Service Coordinator.
  • The Service Coordinator will explain the transition process to the family, ensure that the forms are signed and return the forms to the RMCDC by November 15.

November - December

  • Therapists will identify those children who may qualify for extra supports in the classroom and ensure that forms are completed for the Early Identification meetings with School District #42. Only those who will meet the criteria established by the BC Ministry of Education will be invited to these Early Identification meetings.
  • Packages including a letter explaining the Early Identification process and the District OP/PT Screening form will be mailed to the identified families.
  • Families will be asked to submit copies of reports/tests (NOT generated by RMCDC), the completed Kindergarten Profile, and the Screening Form at the Early Identification meeting in the new year.
  • School District #42 staff will make a one/two week period available at the end of January and 1 hour meeting times will be arranged by RMCDC.

January

  • The RMCDC Admin Coordinator will contact each family early in the new year to schedule the Early Identification meeting time.
  • The Early Identification meeting will take place at RMCDC and be attended by the family, School District #42 support staff (Psychologist, Special Education representatives), the child’s primary RMCDC therapist, and a Supported Child Development Program consultant (if applicable) to identify the child’s needs, submits reports, complete the necessary SD#42 referral forms and discuss the requirements necessary to secure funding.

February

  • Kindergarten registration takes place at the child’s catchment school. Dates will be published in the local papers and families may contact the school of their choice for confirmation.
  • For children NOT requiring an Early Identification meeting but who may have a need for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language therapy services in school, please alert the school that your child has been receiving RMCDC services when you register.

April - May - June

  • School Kindergarten and support teachers will make arrangements to meet with families and/or observe children in their preschool/daycare settings.
  • Schools, families, and/or RMCDC therapists will ensure that individual Transition meetings with each RMCDC family, to discuss planning for September, are arranged at the school. Meetings may include: Kindergarten teachers, support teachers, district support staff, Supported Child Development consultants, RMCDC therapists, preschool/daycare providers as well as parent(s)/guardian(s).

August

  • Discharge reports will be completed by August 31 and distributed, with signed consent, to the appropriate school and/or Learning Services.
What happens if my child is in school and needs therapy supports?

Referral for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology services are all made through the classroom teacher or school support teacher.


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