Jump to content

IFSP & Outcome Development

Girls Playing in LeavesThe Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) provides the foundation for early intervention supports and services. The IFSP is developed through a collaborative process that includes the child's family as the most important members of the intervention team. A well-developed IFSP is individualized to each child and family’s specific routines, activities, strengths, and needs and reflects the family’s priorities for the child’s development. Information about the child’s development, outcomes and goals, supports and services, and the transition plan that will be implemented to support the child and family as they exit the early intervention system is included in each IFSP.


Here you will find resources to help you become more familiar with Virginia’s IFSP and the IFSP development process.


Click the links below to jump directly to the following sections of this page.
Articles & Handouts | Presentations/Training Curricula | Audio/Video | Mini Lessons | Online Learning | Tools | Websites & Programs


Articles & Handouts

The Decision Tree: Child Indicator Seeds for Success

Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

These one-page handouts address questions, provide information, and describe strategies to help early intervention team members integrate the child outcome indicators into their practices. Access the following handouts by visiting the Tools of the Trade page and opening the 2014 archive.

  • Writing an Honest, Balanced and Meaningful IFSP Narrative (Oct 2014)
  • Identifying Strategies, Activities, and the Necessary Supports and Services to Achieve IFSP Outcomes (Apr 2014)
  • Using Assessment Findings to Develop Individualized Functional Outcomes (Mar 2014)
  • Tips for Engaging Families in Child Indicator Discussions (Jan 2014)

Enhancing Recognition of High-Quality, Functional IFSP Outcomes and IEP Goals (external website | pdf)
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)

This document includes training activities designed to build understanding of the criteria needed to develop and write high quality, participation-based IFSP outcomes and IEP goals. Activity instructions, lists of materials, and rating tools are included.

Good Questions TIDEWATER Will Ask Families To Develop Quality Outcomes  PDF | DOC

Good Questions VALLEY Will Ask Families To Develop Quality Outcomes  PDF | DOC

Good Questions ABINGDON REGION Will Ask Families to Develop Quality Outcomes PDF | DOC

Good Questions RICHMOND Will Ask Families to Develop Quality Outcomes PDF | DOC

Good Questions ROANOKE Will Ask Families to Develop Quality Outcomes PDF | DOC

Based on what they learned during training, EI practitioners from the Tidewater and Valley regions shared these questions that they will use with families during IFSP outcome development to learn about what is important to families, about families’ routines, etc.

Quick Reference Guide – Want to Write a Good IFSP Outcome?  PDF

This quick reference guide was developed by the ITC and distributed to local system managers, service coordinators, and service providers in meetings and trainings across the state. This guide provides a 3-part format for writing outcomes based on Robin McWilliam’s work: Acquisition statement, Context, and Criterion for measurement. Please request permission for use or distribution outside of the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA system.

Tell Us About Your Child  PDF | HTML

This handout can be used to help families prepare for IFSP meetings and share information about their child and their priorities for their child’s development. The information gathered with this handout can be very useful in the development of IFSP outcomes and individualized intervention strategies.

Tips and Techniques for Developing Participation-Based IFSP Outcome Statements  PDF | HTML

BriefCASE, March 2009
M’Lisa L. Shelden and Dathan Rush
This BriefCASE contains strategies to assist early intervention practitioners in understanding how to write family-centered Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) outcome statements, which are participation-based and family-focused or child-focused and related to child learning within the context of everyday opportunities. (Please note that while the tips in this BriefCASE are very useful for writing participation-based outcomes, the outcome examples may not reflect the practices we use in Virginia for making outcomes measurable.)

Woods, J. J., & Lindeman, D. P. (2008). Gathering and giving information with families. Infants & Young Children, 21(4), 272-284. (external website)

This article examines the importance of exchanging information with families to support IFSP development. A framework and strategies are discussed to support a shared process that helps families understand the intervention process.



Presentations/Training Curricula

Developing High Quality, Function IFSP Outcomes and IEP Goals – Training Package

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

This training package includes an introductory video, a set of 6 fully scripted PowerPoint presentations, handouts, activities and supplemental materials, and information about how states have used and adapted the materials.

Enhancing Recognition of High Quality, Functional IFSP Outcomes: A Training Activity for Infant and Toddler Service Providers (external website)
Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center
This training activity guide was created to support participants’ understanding of the criteria needed to develop and write high quality, participation-based Individualized Family Plan (IFSP) outcomes. This guide includes information that can be used to define high quality, participation-based IFSP outcomes and guidance for three activities.

Module 5: Procedures for IFSP Development, Review, and Evaluation

Module 6: Content of the IFSP

Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities: A Training Curriculum on Part C of IDEA 2004

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Module 5 takes a detailed look at what the Part C regulations require in terms of the procedures used to develop, review, and evaluate a child’s IFSP. Module 6 takes a detailed look at the content that must be included in each child’s IFSP, according to the Part C regulations. Each module includes a slide show, trainer’s guide, handouts and activity sheets for participants. These modules are part of a training curriculum that covers the early intervention process. Visit the site to see the full list of modules.





Benefits of Training in Developing Family Centered IFSP Outcomes VideoBenefits of Training in Developing Family-Centered IFSP Outcomes

Autumn, a local system manager, talks about her experience and the benefits to her local system that she noted following regional training in outcome development.



Video - Jennifer Describing the IFSP and OutcomesJennifer Describing the IFSP and Outcomes

Hear how Jennifer, a developmental services provider from the I&TC of Virginia Beach, describes the IFSP and outcomes.



Video - Lilly Assessment VideoLily’s Assessment & IFSP Development

This video features an assessment and IFSP team conducting a real-world assessment and initial IFSP development meeting with Lily and her grandmother. The process used by the professional team members to summarize the assessment findings using the three OSEP child outcomes as a framework is highlighted. The open-ended questions used to facilitate the IFSP outcome development process are also highlighted.


To help trainers, faculty, and supervisors use this video for professional development, a Video Reflection Guide is also available, which includes summaries of the video sections and reflection questions which can be used to guide discussion.




Mini Lessons

Mini Lesson IconTopical mini-lessons provide content overview and strategies to enhance knowledge and skills related to a variety of topics that are relevant to everyday early intervention practice. Each mini-lesson begins with broad content information about the topic and narrows into sequential activities that provide opportunities for you to practice and apply what you learn. Guidance is also provided to facilitate reflection and review.


Mini-lessons include instructions for group use such as staff meetings and also for individualized instruction. Users may choose to utilize all of the materials or select specific activities to meet their needs. Links to additional resources are also provided.


PDF versions are recommended.


Outcome Development Mini Lesson PDF
In the Outcome Development Mini-Lesson, you will find an overview of IFSP outcome development and five practice/application and reflection activities. Each activity is described in detail on an activity guide, and all handouts needed for the activities are also included. This mini-lesson is intended to provide practitioners with information about gathering information from families and writing individualized outcomes.


IFSP Mini Lesson PDF

In the IFSP Mini-Lesson, you will find a series of seven introduction, practice and reflection activities that will help you and your staff consider how Virginia’s IFSP form is completed. Activities address gathering information from families, writing a complete IFSP narrative, connecting the different parts of the IFSP to the outcomes that are developed, determining supports and services, and transition.


Related Documents for IFSP Mini Lesson:

  • Case Study PDF
  • Sample IFSP PDF


Online Learning


IFSP 101: Introduction to the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia’s IFSP VA’s Development Process

Integrated Training Collaborative | Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU

This module provides an in-depth look at the IFSP development process in Virginia. This module is intended for new service practitioners and those who need a refresher about the IFSP process. This module results in two credit hours and a certificate of completion.




Checklist of Family-Centered Practices and the IFSP (pdf)

VA’s Coaching Facilitation Guide

This checklist can be used to evaluate the use of family-centered practices and the IFSP. Service coordinators, providers, and administrators can use this tool when reviewing IFSPs to determine if these practices are present and to make suggestions for improvement.

Checklist - Key Characteristics of Well-Written IFSP Outcomes (pdf)

VA Integrated Training Collaborative

This checklist can be used to critique an IFSP outcome or goal by comparing it to the key characteristics of well-written outcomes which are described in this tool.

Guidance for Reviewing IFSP Narratives (external website)
This resource provides questions that can be used when reviewing completed IFSP narrative to ensure quality data for child indicators measurement and reporting.



Websites & Programs

Writing the IFSP for your Child National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

This page provides an overview of the IFSP for parents including what is included in an IFSP, who develops it, and what happens after the IFSP is developed.



Share |
Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center