Family Rights

 Family Rights and Early Intervention Services:
Do You Know Yours?

Families have important rights that follow them throughout their involvement in the Early Intervention system. Procedural and due process safeguards are provided pursuant to Federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and under Massachusetts law (34 CFR 303.400 et. seq). The Massachusetts Early Intervention Operational Standards and Due Process Procedures for Early Intervention Programs, contain protections for families.

Would you like to learn more about family rights in the Early Intervention System? Mary Dennehy-Colorusso, Director of the Office of Procedural Safeguards at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will present a series of workshops on “Due Process-The Basics” to families throughout the state. The training provides an overview of the different procedural safeguards under Part C of IDEA including:

  • the right to privacy (confidentiality and release of information),
  • the right to review/examine your child’s record,
  • the right to refuse some services and reject others (accept or decline without jeopardy),
  • prior written notice,
  • written and spoken communication in a parent’s native language,
  • parental consent, and
  • timely resolution of disputes

The workshop features examples of how these safeguards are built into the Early Intervention system and how they relate to all aspects of family participation including the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

For more information on attending a workshop, visit our website or please contact the Parent Leadership Project, toll-free at (877)35-EI-PLP or by email at

Once your child has been referred, you and your child have rights which follow you throughout your involvement with Early Intervention. These rights are required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Early Intervention staff will review these rights with you in your native language unless it is clearly not possible. The EI staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Family Rights

Family Rights 2013

Family Rights Arabic 2018

Family Rights Haitian Creole 2013

Family Rights Portuguese 2013

Family Rights Spanish 2013

Family Rights Vietnamese 2013

Information about the Local Education Agency (LEA) and State Education Agency (SEA) Notification and Parent Option to “Opt Out”

Opt-Out English PDF

Opt-Out Hatitian PDF

Opt Out Portuguese PDF

Opt Out Spanish PDF

Opt Out Vietnamese PDF

Clarification and Guidance on LEA Referrals and SEA Notification: Transition Memo 7.12