Foundations Series

The complete FOUNDATIONS SERIES includes three online courses and the hybrid-delivery Foundations Practicum. The courses literally provide the foundation of Early Start requirements, procedures and practices. Online Foundations courses may be taken in any order or concurrently; there are no prerequisites for participation. However, participants must successfully complete all three Foundations online courses before attending the Foundations Practicum. Scroll down for a description of course objectives and a link to additional details for each Foundations course.

Foundations: Understanding Systems, Processes and Practices
(formerly called Foundations I)

Topics covered in this course include: family systems, the Early Start system, making decisions using evidence-based practice, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process, and supporting families using coaching and other help-giving practices.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the critical role of the family and family support in the care and development of young children with disabilities.
  • Describe Early Start program eligibility, program requirements and procedural safeguards.
  • Research, appraise and identify appropriate evidence-based early intervention practices.
  • Explain the IFSP process, including required components and timelines.
  • Describe the practices related to and benefits of coaching and relationship-based approaches to early intervention services.

For a week-by-week description of course content, refer to the course catalogue.

Foundations: Working Through the IFSP Process
(formerly called Foundations II)

Topics covered in this course include: an introduction to child development; screening, evaluation and assessment; writing functional outcomes; working in natural environments for families; and selecting and developing interventions.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the differences among typical child development, developmental delays, and developmental differences.
  • Describe Early Start evaluation and assessment requirements and recommended practices.
  • Write a functional outcome statement that is measurable and meaningful.
  • Describe the delivery and benefits of services in natural environments for families.
  • Identify intervention strategies based on the assessed needs of a child and the natural environments and resources of the child’s family.

For a week-by-week description of course content, refer to the course catalogue.

Foundations: Partnering for Effective Service Delivery (formerly called Foundations III)

Topics covered in this course include: working with culturally and linguistically diverse families, relationship-based early intervention, quality assurance, transition planning, and collaboration.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe strategies to work with and support families from diverse backgrounds.
  • Describe principles and benefits of relationship-based early intervention services.
  • Discuss the quality assurance process in Early Start from the federal and state through the local levels.
  • Identify the required components and timelines for an individualized transition plan.
  • Discuss collaboration both within the IFSP team and across early childhood partner agencies.

For a week-by-week description of course content, refer to the course catalogue.

Foundations Practicum (formerly called Foundations Institute)

This course is the culminating course in the Early Start Foundations series. The Early Start Foundations Institute provides practical application of foundational skills and knowledge engages participants in analysis of child and family assessment and status information and guides participants in the creation of effective, meaningful and compliant Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Write functional child and family outcomes for an individualized family service plan (IFSP) based on child and family assessment results.
  • Integrate information gleaned from a family assessment into appropriate components of an IFSP.
  • Articulate ways to adjust one’s own current practices to work effectively with families who are traditionally underserved by Part C early intervention services, including foster families and Native American families and those families who are homeless and living in poverty.
  • Identify strategies that increase collaboration appropriate to one’s role or scope as an Early Start team member.
  • Practice interviewing and coaching strategies that may be used to enhance the capacity of families to support the development of their children.
  • Explain the impact of the parallel process across various levels of interaction.

Enrollment in the Foundations Practicum is by invitation and requires completion of all three Foundations online courses:

  • Foundations: Understanding Systems, Processes and Practices
  • Foundations: Working Through the IFSP Process
  • Foundations: Partnering for Effective Service Delivery

Next Foundations Practicum is February 27-28 in Sacramento. Coursework begins 45 days prior to the start. Registration opens December 1. Space is limited and fills up quickly, so register immediately on receiving your invitation!

Click here for a flyer from a recent Foundations Practicum.

Project CoDirectors:
Virginia Reynolds and Angela McGuire

Contact:
Angela McGuire, Early Start Training Coordinator