How we provide EIP/First Steps Services
RMCDC services are delivered using an interdisciplinary, family-centred model in which staff and parents work as equal team partners to plan the family’s program. Services may be delivered in a variety of ways, including individual therapy, small groups, consultation to parents and caregivers, and parent training and education programs.
Family-centred care is considered ‘best practice’ in Canada and the United States because research indicates that positive child development outcomes go hand-in-hand with family involvement and support. Family-centred care places the family at the centre of all services and supports. Parents’ strengths are acknowledged and built on; their unique needs are acknowledged and addressed in intervention planning. In practice, family-centred care means that:
- Parents and professionals make decisions together, and parents have the final decision regarding their child and his or her treatment plan.
- Parents are given complete and unbiased information to help them make informed decisions.
- Parents receive copies of all reports written by RMCDC staff about their children and family.
- Scheduling is planned to minimize disruption to the family’s and child’s routine. Most staff are available to work one evening per week if required.
- Parents are offered as much choice as possible about their family’s program. For example, recommended strategies are designed to fit into the family’s daily routines to enhance learning within these opportunities. Services can be delivered in a variety of locations including at home, at the Centre, or at a community setting (preschool programs, daycares, leisure programs, playgrounds).
- Family needs, as identified by the family, are addressed directly and/or through referral to community agencies.
- Support programs and services are made available to the whole family, including parents and siblings. Extended family members are welcomed as members of the team – with parent approval.
RMCDC values a family-centred approach when working with families. It is the foundation on which our practice is built.