Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Child and Family Development and Support Services (CFD) 10: Early Intervention Services

Early intervention services promote the health and well-being of children who have or are at risk for developmental delays.
NA The organization does not provide early intervention services.
2020 Edition




Families participating in Child and Family Development and Support Services gain new competencies, improve child health and well-being, improve family functioning, and make family-community connections.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Intervention curricula and/or materials
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Contracts or service agreements with community providers, if applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

CFD 10.01

Children receive all specialized services needed to promote their physical, cognitive, emotional, social, communicative, and adaptive development.


 When assessment reveals the need for specialized services the organization does not provide, it should refer the family to other qualified professionals.
Examples: Needed services may include, but are not limited to: 
  1. medical services;
  2. nursing services;
  3. visual services;
  4. audiological services; 
  5. speech and language services;
  6. orientation and mobility services;
  7. psychological services;
  8. nutrition services;
  9. family therapy; 
  10. occupational and physical therapy;
  11. assistive technology; and 
  12. special education.


CFD 10.02

Children receive services that:
  1. take into account their ages, developmental levels, strengths, challenges, functional status, and social competence; and
  2. facilitate their ability to complete essential, age-appropriate daily tasks.


CFD 10.03

Children receive early intervention services in inclusive settings where they can interact in a positive way with other children, to the extent possible.


CFD 10.04

Families are involved in services and provided with information and education about:
  1. developmental delays and disabilities;
  2. the best strategies for lessening the effects of developmental delays and disabilities;
  3. meeting their children’s needs; and
  4. their children’s progress.


CFD 10.05

Early intervention services:
  1. include family members’ ideas;
  2. use the family’s informal resources, such as toys, household materials, and family members;
  3. take advantage of learning opportunities that occur naturally during activities in which the family participates; and
  4. can be incorporated into everyday routines and activities.


CFD 10.06

Families are linked to needed support services, including, as appropriate:
  1. individual counseling or parent-to-parent support groups; and
  2. financial assistance for specialized services that meet their children’s needs.