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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Individual Family Services Plan (“IFSP”) Team should make an individualized determination relating to respite services.

Letter to Hutton, 53 IDELR 334 (OSEP 2009):  The New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) sought clarification from the U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) that its policy regarding respite services is consistent with the Early Intervention Services (EIS) required by Part C of the IDEA.

OSEP found that the DOH’s policy is consistent with Part C because (1) it “requires consideration of a variety of factors that highlight specific circumstances when respite may be needed;” (2) “the determination of whether respite is identified on the child’s IFSP is made on an individualized basis and is made by the eligible child’s IFSP team;” and (3) under its policy, respite does not serve as routine child-care, but is limited to when respite may enhance, in child and family specific circumstances, the capacity of the family to meet the developmental needs of their infant or toddler with a disability.

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