Massachusetts Focused Monitoring

Massachusetts Focused Monitoring


Stakeholders Group

A stakeholders group representative of the broad range of persons involved in the Early Intervention system including Lead Agency Staff, ICC Chair, provider and parent representatives, ICC representative for the Low Incidence Committee is responsible for advising the lead agency on the focused monitoring process as well as changes made to that process.


Indicators and Selection Measures

Based on available data the Massachusetts stakeholders group agreed to use the local program determinations to identify programs in need of Focused Monitoring onsite visits.   Programs that fall into the category of “needs intervention” or “needs substantial intervention” will receive onsite visits to develop strategies on an improvement plan specific to the issues identified for that program.


The Focused Monitoring Schedule

The schedule for selection of onsite Focused Monitoring visits is as follows:


In May of each year DPH will analyze data and rank programs based on local determinations made by DPH in accordance with federal regulations. Programs that fall into the category of “needs intervention” or “needs substantial intervention” in this process will receive a focused monitoring visit based on issues identified through annual reporting for that program.  In June and July EI programs will be notified of the annual onsite monitoring schedule. The number of programs visited each year will change depending on the results of the Local Determinations.


Focused Monitoring Team

Focused Monitoring teams are comprised of parents and Regional EI Specialists.  Each program’s regional specialist will facilitate the teams activities based on data that is submitted and reviewed prior to the visit. Regional EI Specialists and two parents will participate in the onsite protocols and information gathering process to formulate a final report.



Components of a Focused Monitoring Visit


Pre-Planning Conference Call

Before the actual onsite visit there will be a pre-planning conference call to discuss the program chosen for the onsite visit, reason for selection, data to support the choosing of the program, and the history of corrective action and training for this program.  From this call it will be determined what information will be requested from the program and DPH EIIS for the desk audit meeting.


Desk Audit

Prior to the onsite visit the monitoring team will meet to review information and data gathered about the program.  Available data may include previous monitoring reports, any formal and informal complaints based on discussions with the Director, Office of Family Rights & Due Process, EIIS data, Service Delivery Report, etc.   The outcome of the meeting will be to hypothesize why the program has data that suggest low performance.  The hypotheses will drive the components of the onsite visit.


Planning and Scheduling

The EI Program Director will develop a plan along with the Regional EI Specialist (Team Facilitator) to decide the best methods for gathering information from families, staff, and community partners prior to the on-site visit.


The plan will also include the following information:

  • The Schedule for Onsite Visits will posted on PLP Website, and in the Parent Leadership newsletter – program parents are then able to respond to the PLP website/phone to participate in providing feedback


  • DPH will provide EIP with metered envelopes and letters to be sent to families  notifying them of the upcoming onsite visit


  • Families will be able to participate in the Focused Monitoring process through interviews scheduled during the onsite visit


The DPH will assist in identifying resources to meet the language capacity needs of families interested in participating.


Onsite Visit

Components of the visit will include meetings with program administrators, file reviews, interviews with parents, staff, and community partners.  However, each on-site visit will be unique.  The goal of the focused monitoring is to determine the root causes for low performance in order to develop corrective action/improvement plans with strategies for continuous improvement.


The Focused Monitoring Team will debrief at the end of each day during the on-site visit; the team will meet with the program director to review findings and confirm visit components.


Exit Interview

The Focused Monitoring Team will meet with the program director at the end of the last day of the on-site visit to summarize the results and discuss any need for corrective action or improvement planning.


Focused Monitoring Summary Report

Within one month (30 business days) of the on-site visit, the focused monitoring team will send a letter/report to the program summarizing the results and findings of the visit.  Corrective action plans will be requested at this time.


If a corrective action plan is required, EIPs will have 60 business days in which to respond.  (See Corrective Action Plan Format)


Follow Up Visits

As needed, a member of the focused monitoring team will be available to provide technical assistance and support, and make an on-site visit to verify the data reported in the corrective action plan and progress updates.  This information may also be used as part of the data verification visits.