Opportunities for Families

A “Road Map” of Opportunities Within the Early Intervention System

Did you know that there are many ways for families to be involved in the Early Intervention system beyond the services your child receives? Family participation has long been the cornerstone of the Massachusetts Early Intervention system and parents have been instrumental in advising policy-makers, as well as helping to determine the future direction of Early Intervention services.

The Parent Leadership Project is pleased to offer a road map of opportunities for parent involvement in the Early Intervention system.

The Parent Leadership Project actively supports family participation by offering resources and training. For more information on these or other opportunities, please call the Parent Leadership Project toll-free at (877) 35-EI-PLP.

Parent Leadership Roles/Family Involvement Activities

Leadership Role                  Level of Impact             Compensation               Commitment                     Current            Transitioned

Parent Contact Local Early Intervention Program, Regional & Statewide Volunteer, but are eligible to attend the EI Conference for free Depends on the individual Yes No
Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Member Local Early Intervention, Regional Volunteer, but high in satisfaction Depends on the individual Yes Yes
Parent/Family Liaison Local Early Intervention Program Salaried early intervention staff position Depends on the early intervention program Possibly (depends on the EI program) Yes
ICC Parent Representative Regional, Statewide and National Reimbursement 4-5 meetings and conference calls per year with some prep time Yes Yes
Early Intervention Training Center Parent Presenter Regional Reimbursement 6 hours per presentation with some prep time (training is available) Yes Yes
ICC Committee Member Statewide Reimbursement Approximately 2 hours per meeting per month (mentoring is available) Yes Yes
Early Intervention Program Focused Monitoring Parent Team Member Regional Reimbursement Approximately 4 days onsite per visit with some prep time. (Training provided) No Yes
Advisor to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Statewide Flat rate reimbursement Short term, project based (Training is available) Yes Yes
For more information: The Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project 1-877-35-EI-PLP

Parent Contact: A parent whose child is currently receiving services from an early intervention program. This parent volunteers to work with the Parent Leadership Project to receive information and share it with other families and staff in their early intervention program. The Parent Contact also shares program news and family involvement activities with the Parent Leadership Project. Parent Contacts are vital links in the information chain as the information is then shared with other families through the statewide newsletter, the Parent Perspective.

PAC (Parent Advisory Council) Member: A parent who joins the PAC at their early intervention program and meets with other family members to look at issues that affect more than just their own child. If there is no formal PAC at your early intervention program, ask your program director for ways that you can make an individual contribution to your program’s policies, procedures, or other special activities.

Parent or Family Liaison: A parent of a child that is currently enrolled or a graduate of a certified Early intervention program that is hired by the program to bring the parent perspective to the staff. This position varies within programs and within regions.

Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) Parent Representative: There are seven parent representatives who are members of the ICC, one parent for each region of the state and an at-large representative. The parent members are appointed to represent parents and their perspectives about early intervention policies and procedures.

Early Intervention Training Center Parent Co-Presenter: Families are invited to join the EI Training Center staff and share their experiences. This is a great way to take an active role in the training that early intervention providers receive. Parent presenters are reimbursed for their time and travel.

Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) Committee Member: Any parent, whether or not he or she is an ICC member, may choose to join a committee or task group. We encourage family participation on all committees in order to keep the committee and it’s members family-centered. Family members that attend committee meetings on a regular basis receive reimbursement for their participation.

Early Intervention Focused Monitoring Parent Team Member: A parent team member works collaboratively with a DPH Regional Specialist as part of a focused monitoring team to visit and evaluate EI programs. The team looks at key indicators of performance to determine whether EI programs are performing as required. Responsibilities include pre-visit and debriefing meetings, facilitating activities at the onsite visit, compiling notes and contributing to a final report submitted by the team. Parents will receive training and compensation for their time. This opportunity is open to parents whose children are graduates of a certified Early Intervention program.

Early Intervention Training Center Workshops: Families who receive early intervention services are invited to attend the EI Training Center workshops.

Advisor to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: A parent of a child that is currently enrolled or a graduate of a certified Early intervention program that trained to review proposals from a parent’s point of view, participate on a task force; provide input at a focus group or through a survey, etc.