Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Featured program for November newsletter: First Steps

We will be introducing the health information specialists for the family to family health information center at Family Voices Indiana over the next few months. Their biographies will also be included on our website at www.fvindiana.org. Every contractor at our center is a parent of a child(ren) with special healthcare needs and/or disabilities. We have personal experience navigating the systems and services in Indiana. We look forward to learning more about your families as well.


Lizbeth Curet-Nava is one of our HIS for the Indianapolis area and currently resides in Mccordsville, IN with her husband Gilberto of 10 years and her two year old twins Carmen and Cameron. She’s originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up as a Military brat. She worked for eight and a half years as a Prenatal Health Educator and the last five years with Children's Bureau in Supervised visitation, Foster parent trainer, and Adoption Champion. Her heart is to help others and Family Voices is a place where currently she’s able to do just that! 

Heather Dane is one of our HIS for the Indianapolis area. Since her son, Joseph, was born in 2004, Heather has attended numerous workshops and conferences in an effort to become an effective advocate for her children. Joseph was born with a rare brain disorder resulting in mulitple disabilities and special health care needs. Her daughter, Mikayla, was born premature in 2010 and also had a stroke in utero. Heather has an Associate of Science degree in Human Services with a Mental Health Specialty and will complete her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a Marketing Specialty in the summer of 2012.

Heather worked as a Family Advocate for The Arc of Indiana for two years and is excited to be joining the Family Voices Indiana family. Heather strongly believes in and advocates for full inclusion of all persons regardless of ability.

Families who are eligible to participate in Indiana’s First Steps System include those with children ages birth to three years old who:

  • Are experiencing developmental delays.
  • Have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay.

Families come to First Steps in one of two ways. Most families are referred to their local First Steps program by doctors, hospital staff, or other social service agency caseworkers. Others are “self-referrals,” contacting First Steps directly because they are concerned about apparent delays in their child’s development. You can find your local First Steps office here.

The first thing the First Steps Intake Coordinator can do to help your infant or toddler get help is to schedule an initial assessment and evaluation. This service is paid for by First Steps and brings you together with a team of professionals or multidisciplinary team to identify any developmental delay or disability and recommend early intervention services that may benefit your child.

After the initial assessment and evaluation, it may be determined that your child is eligible and in need of early intervention services. Based upon your concerns, you will discuss what services your child may need, what resources are available to you in your community, what your family’s priorities are, what your family’s resources are and last, but not least, your hopes and dreams for your child.

This information then is written into the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which is a “road map” or action plan for the services your child and family may receive. It includes your major goals for your child; how progress will be measured; what and where services will be provided; when they will begin and for how long; methods of payment; and transition upon the child’s third birthday.

A Family Voices health information specialist would be happy to help you with accessing First Steps. Feel free to call us at 317 944 8982 or email info@fvindiana.org

If you'd like to sign up for our monthly newsletter, you can do so here.

Embedded below is the Sunny Start sheet with more information.......

FS_FirstSteps (1)

5 comments:

Elisa Gayton said...

 In one of my college classes we had the opportunity to go and see the first steps office in Crown Point, IN. I found it to be such an informative experience, that I left there and knew that when I do graduate that is something I would like to look into. They are not telling parents there is no problem or that goals are impossible. They look to define what the goal means and that in itself is extraordinary. Something so simple as receiving a hug can cause of big difference to a mother or a parent, and that is all I believe first steps wants to do. They want to be the support behind the parent in a difficult time, but also be the mentor in helping them except this difficult time. I would recommend first steps to anyone I would feel could benefit it. Thanks so much for introducing some of the team members from Indianapolis.

veronica said...

First Steps is a great resource for families to turn to when in need of information and help. Seeing first hand how First Steps works, I believe that knowledge is key to any disabilitiy and when families have no idea who to turn to, they can rely on the suport of First Steps to help them through the process.

Abby Tudor said...

I was also able to visit the First Steps facility in Crown Point, Indiana, with my class last month. We just visited the Riley Children's Hospital a week ago, too. It is great that there are so many efforts towards helping these children. Hopefully this will only continue to grow in the future.

lanondria said...

I recently learned about the First steps program of Indiana through my classes taken at Purdue Cal and with my two year old grandson who is being serviced with First Steps for speech therapy. This is a excellent Early Intervention program.

Marlita said...

A EACH ONE- TEACH ONE Moment: I met a young lady carrying a small infant in a parking garage. We were having small talk when she informed me that her daughter was premature in birth and she may be facing many health issues. I immediately began to share information about First Steps Intervention Program. She was unaware that a program like this existed. She was so excited to receive the information that she called First Steps Program to schedule an intake appointment as we stood in the parking garage at the medical center. I was so honored to be able to share the information about the First Step Program.
It was a privilege to be able to share reliable, valid information about a program to someone that may have a opporunity to utilize the service.