Early Intervention Referral Process

Early intervention is a term used to describe the services and supports that are available to babies and young children ages 0-3 with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. It includes speech therapy, physical therapy and other types of services based on the needs of the child and family.

Overview of How Early Intervention Works

The Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Early Intervention coordinates services for children under 36 months of age through a network of Child and Family Connections (CFC) Offices. CFC 7 serves children living in West Suburban Cook County.

The CFC office coordinates evaluations and assessments of children to determine whether a child exhibits qualifying delays in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, speech and language, social or emotional, and self-help skills. Families with children who are determined eligible for Early Intervention services receive an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP drives the services and supports available to the family.

A combination of government and family resources pay for Early Intervention services. The Early Intervention program pays fully for some services and provides them to families at no cost. These services include evaluation, assessment, development of a service plan, and service coordination. Ongoing Early Intervention services are paid for by the families’ health insurance, government insurance (All Kids/Medicaid) and program funds. Families may be required to contribute to the cost of services by paying a family fee, which is determined using a sliding scale, based on family size and income. Services recommended in an IFSP may include, but are not limited to: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, developmental therapy, psychological services, audiological services and social work services.

Child and Family Connections 7 Referral and Communication Process
Below is a description of an effective referral and communication process between a referring party (i.e. physician, early childhood care and education provider) and Child Family Connections 7 (CFC) serving West Suburban Cook County.

1. The referring party should complete the Illinois Standardized Referral Form with the parent or guardian of the child. Be sure to check (√) the appropriate boxes in Section 2 and have the parent or guardian complete and sign Section 6. This will allow the referring party to receive information about the outcome of the referral.

2. Fax the completed Illinois Standardized Referral Form to the CFC 7 office. Fax #: (708) 449-7071 or (708)-449-7173.

3. CFC 7 will assign the family a service coordinator who must contact the family (usually by phone) within 2 business days. Please share this information with the parent or guardian and let them know to expect a phone call.

4. CFC 7 will send the referring party a completed Illinois Early Intervention
Program Referral Fax Back Form Part I within 2 weeks. This section will
inform the referring party the status of the referral and whether:

● The family has been scheduled for an evaluation;
● CFC 7 has been unable to contact the family and would like the referring party to assist them in making a connection; and
● The parent or guardian has asked that the referring party contact him or her directly for results.

5. When an Intake is scheduled, CFC 7 will coordinate an evaluation of the child to determine eligibility for services and those services recommended.

6. After eligibility is determined, the service coordinator will complete Part II of the Referral Fax Back Form and send it to the referring party. The service coordinator will also send the referring party a request for any prescriptions needed to implement the plan, as appropriate. To request the full copy of the IFSP, the referring party should contact the service coordinator listed in Part I of the Referral Fax Back Form received from CFC 7.

View the Early Intervention Referral Process in a printable document. 

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