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The Florida Senate

2018 Florida Statutes

Early Steps Program; establishment and goals.
F.S. 391.301
391.301 Early Steps Program; establishment and goals.
(1) The Early Steps Program is established within the department to serve infants and toddlers who are at risk of developmental disabilities based on a physical or mental condition and infants and toddlers with developmental delays by providing developmental evaluation and early intervention and by providing families with training and support services in a variety of home and community settings in order to enhance family and caregiver competence, confidence, and capacity to meet their child’s developmental needs and desired outcomes.
(2) The program may include screening and referral services at all hospitals providing Level II or Level III neonatal intensive care services, in order to promptly identify newborns with disabilities or with conditions associated with risks of developmental delays so that families may gain as early as possible the services and skills they need to support their infants’ development.
(3) The program must integrate information and coordinate services with other programs serving infants and toddlers, including, but not limited to, the Healthy Start program, the newborn screening program, and the Blind Babies Program.
(4) The program must:
(a) Provide services to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities and delays.
(b) Expand the recognition by health care providers, families, and the public of the significant brain development that occurs during a child’s first 3 years of life.
(c) Maintain the importance of the family in all areas of the child’s development and support the family’s participation in early intervention services and decisions affecting the child.
(d) Operate a comprehensive, coordinated interagency system of early intervention services and supports in accordance with part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
(e) Ensure timely evaluation, individual planning, and early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of eligible infants and toddlers.
(f) Build the service capacity and enhance the competencies of health care providers serving infants and toddlers with unique needs and abilities.
(g) Ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability through establishment of a high-capacity data system, active monitoring of performance indicators, and ongoing quality improvement.
History.s. 12, ch. 89-379; s. 25, ch. 91-282; s. 7, ch. 94-140; s. 26, ch. 98-288; s. 51, ch. 2004-350; s. 6, ch. 2016-238.
Note.Former s. 383.215(1), (2).