Frequently Asked Questions on Child Outcomes Data Collection

Purpose

1. What is the purpose of the Child Outcome Summary Form process?

Child outcomes data are being collected to meet federal reporting requirements for all state Early Intervention Programs, established by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). IDEA 2004 requires states to develop performance plans to evaluate the State's efforts to implement IDEA and describe how the State will improve results for children with disabilities. Under this requirement, OSEP requires State Early Intervention Programs to report the percentage of infants and toddlers with Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) who demonstrate improvement, based on entry and exit assessments in three areas: social emotional skills, acquisition and use of knowledge and skills, and use of appropriate behaviors to meet needs.

The information to assess child outcomes as a result of participating in the Early Intervention Program is collected on the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) developed by the Early Childhood Outcome (ECO) Center for the US Department of Education. Information about New York State Early Intervention Program performance on child outcomes can be found in the Annual Performance Reports at https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/community/infants_children/early_intervention/

Sampling

2. Is the municipality's sample size the same every year?

The New York State Early Intervention Program has been approved by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to sample children served by the program to assess child outcome performance.

Each year the Bureau of Early Intervention reviews the number of children that received an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) the previous year in the specified municipality to determine the sample size. The Department will notify the county of its sample size prior to the start of the OSEP federal program year (July 1st).

ENTRY – Child Outcome Summary Form Process

Completion of the Child Outcome Summary Form at Entry

3. When should the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form be completed?

The Child Outcome Summary Form should be completed at the child's initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting.

4. Who should be involved in the completion of the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form?

The Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) should be completed by the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team. The team may include the parent or caregiver, the initial service coordinator, the evaluators, and the Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D). The Bureau of Early Intervention has created resources to assist IFSP team members in the COSF process. For more information about team members' roles and responsibilities and how to access resources, please see questions 17-25.

5. What questions are required on the Entry Child Outcomes Summary Form?

All questions on the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) are required and include:

  • NYEIS ID
  • Date completed
  • Child's name
  • Child's date of birth
  • Child's sex
  • County
  • IFSP team members
  • Questions 7A, 7B, and 7C

Before securely transmitting or data entering the COSF, Early Intervention Officials/Designees (EIO/D) must ensure that all required information has been completed on the COSF. Incomplete COSFs will be returned and not considered complete until all required information has been provided.

6. When should the Entry Child Outcome Summary Forms be submitted?

The Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) should be data entered or transmitted securely as the forms are completed or as soon as possible if Early Intervention Officials/Designees (EIO/D) want to complete multiple COSFs before submitting (i.e., batching). The Bureau of Early Intervention recommends submitting completed COSFs at least monthly.

7. Where and how should the Child Outcome Summary Forms be sent to the Department of Health?

Please submit Child Outcome Summary Forms (COSF) by data entering the information into the Personal Electronic Response Data System (PERDS) via Health Commerce System (HCS) or by Secure File Transfer via the HCS. COSF transmitted securely through HCS should be sent to Steven Koczak and with a copy to Katherine Reksc.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

8. Which children should be part of the Child Outcome sample?

The municipality should enroll the first children whose initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is after the date sampling was initiated (July 1st) in the municipality's sample. If a child was referred prior to July 1st, but their initial IFSP is after July 1st, this child can be included in the municipality's sample. For example, if a municipality's sample size is 20 children, the first 20 children with an IFSP on or after July 1stare included in the municipality's sample. There are exceptions for children who are re-referred or have transferred from another county and have already received early intervention services and who are older than 30 months old at the time of their initial IFSP meeting. See questions nine through 16 for more details on exclusion criteria.

9. A child was found ineligible at the first evaluation completed the previous year. If the child it referred again and found eligible, and an initial IFSP is held, should this child be included in the sample?

A child who has not received any prior Early Intervention services and is found eligible can be included in the sample, even if the child was previously found ineligible.

10. Should children who enter the Early Intervention Program over the age of 30 months be included in the sample?

No, children must have the opportunity to receive early intervention services for a minimum of 6 months in order to be included. If a child has an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting and is 30 months of age or older at that time, the child should not be included in the sample.

11. Should a child be included in the county sample when the child arrived from another county with an IFSP in place?

No. Entry data must be collected before a child begins to receive early intervention services, therefore a child who has transferred from another county and who has been receiving early intervention services in another county should not be included in the new municipality's child outcome sample.

If the child was included in the first municipality's child outcomes sample, then the referring municipality should transmit the entry child outcome summary form and the receiving municipality should complete the exit child outcomes summary form near the time of exit from the program.

12. Should a child be included in the county sample when the child had a prior initial Individualized Family Service Plan, moved to a new county to receive early intervention services?

No. Entry data must be collected before a child begins to receive early intervention services, therefore a child who is transferred from another county and who has been receiving early intervention services should not be included in the new municipality's child outcome sample.

13. Can a child's parent or caregiver refuse to have the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form completed?

The US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued guidance to State Early Intervention Programs that parents cannot refuse to have the COSF completed. The child outcomes data are necessary for federal accountability for the Part C Early Intervention Program and no personally identifiable information about the child is disclosed, so parents or caregivers cannot refuse to have their child's assessment data included in the aggregate reporting by States to OSEP each year.

If the parent does not wish to participate in completion of the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF), the service coordinator, Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D), and evaluator should either each complete the COSF independently and submit individual responses to NYS DOH BEI for data entry or collaborate to complete and submit one COSF for the child. It is important to indicate on the COSF who participated in the COSF process.

14. Should the child be included in the sample if the parent or caregiver refuses to hold an initial Individualized Family Service Plan meeting?

No. Only children who complete an initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting within the sampling timeframe should be included in the sample. If a parent or caregiver refuses to hold the initial IFSP meeting, the child should not be included in the municipality's sample.

15. Who is responsible for distributing the Child Outcome Summary Forms and information to the evaluators and service coordinators for the children who are part of the child outcome sample?

For all children included in the sample, the municipal Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D) is responsible for notifying the child's initial service coordinator and the evaluators selected by the child's parents or caregivers that the child is included in the sample. Municipal Early Intervention Programs must establish procedures to accomplish this task.

16. What happens when a child has been referred and is part of the child outcome sample, but the parent or caregiver refuses Early Intervention Services, or if the child is found ineligible?

Only children who complete an initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting within the sampling timeframe should be included in the sample. If a family refuses to hold the initial IFSP meeting, then the child should not be included in the municipality's sample.

If the family has completed the initial IFSP and has a signed IFSP and then refuses early intervention services or the child receives less than six months of early intervention services, the child is still included in the annual sample. The exit Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) should be completed to reflect that the child did not receive six months of services and the exit information cannot be provided.

Role of Early Intervention Officials/Designees in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form Process

17. What is the Early Intervention Official/Designee's responsibility in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Process?

For all children included in the sample, the municipal Early Intervention Official/Designee is responsible for notifying the child's initial service coordinator and the evaluators selected by the child's parents that the child is included in the sample. Municipal Early Intervention Programs must establish procedures to accomplish this task.

The inclusion of the child in the annual sample must be noted on the child's home page in the New York Early Intervention System (NYEIS). For information about how to enter this information, please see the NYEIS User Manual Unit 4: Case Management.

The EIO/D is responsible for facilitating the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process at the initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting. The EIO/D must ensure all the information needed on the entry COSF is collected, and to review the completeness of the COSF before submitting to the Bureau of Early Intervention. The EIO/D must ensure the COSF is submitted in a timely manner. For more information about the process to submit the COSF, see the questions six and seven.

The Bureau of Early Intervention has created an information packet for Early Intervention Officials/Designees about their responsibilities for assisting with the data collection process for children included in child outcomes samples.

All materials are available and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

Role of Evaluators in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form Process

18. What information is available to Early Intervention Program evaluators who participate in the Child Outcome Summary Form process?

The Bureau of Early Intervention has created an information packet for Early Intervention Program evaluators about their responsibilities for assisting with the data collection process for children included in child outcomes samples and for whom they are selected as an evaluator.

All materials are available and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

19. Do evaluators need to prepare Child Outcome Summary Forms for all children evaluated?

No. Evaluators are responsible for participating in the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) data collection process for children who are found eligible for the NYS Early Intervention Program and complete an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting. Evaluators should contact the Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D) with any questions about which children are included in the annual child outcomes sample.

20. Is the Evaluation Summary Form required?

Evaluators are required to document information gathered through the evaluation process on the child's status in each of the three child outcome areas. The evaluator is encouraged to use either the Evaluation Summary – Federal Child Functional Outcome Areas form or the Developmental Milestones Checklist- Evaluator Editionto document this information. However, the evaluator is not required to complete the evaluation summary or checklist, unless the municipality requires it for their documentation purposes.

21. Must each evaluator who participated in the evaluation be at the first IFSP meeting or be available by phone?

Evaluators are responsible for participating in the initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting and to participate in the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process if the child is included in the annual child outcomes sample. If an evaluator is unable to attend the initial IFSP meeting, arrangements must be made for the evaluator's involvement in the meeting by participating in a telephone conference call or having a knowledgeable, authorized representative attend the meeting. This representative must be a person who was directly involved the child's multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE).

Evaluators are encouraged to submit the Evaluation Summary – Federal Child Outcome Areasas an addendum to the child's multidisciplinary evaluation report to the municipal Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D), if the child is included in the child outcomes sample. This information should be used and considered by individuals participating in the IFSP meeting to complete the COSF.

Role of Service Coordinators in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form Process

22. What information is available to Early Intervention Program service coordinators who participate in the Child Outcome Summary process?

Service coordinators should access information developed by the Bureau of Early Intervention to help explain the child outcome process to parents. The materials include an Information Packet on Facilitating the IFSP Discussion to Collect the Child Outcome Data.

All materials are available and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

23. How can an initial service coordinator participate in the entry part of the outcome study if she/he did not have the opportunity to observe the evaluation or has not interacted with the child?

If the initial service coordinator did not have the opportunity to observe the evaluation and has not had much interaction with the child, he or she can still participate by helping the parents or caregivers understand the Child Outcomes Summary Form (COSF) process.

Role of Providers in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form Process

24. Do Early Intervention Program providers need to participate in the Child Outcome Summary Form Process at entry?

Early Intervention Program providers who do not provide service coordination or evaluation services do not participate in the initial Individualized Family Service (IFSP) meeting.

Early Intervention Program providers who deliver early intervention services to children included in child outcome samples will be involved the collection of exit data for those children who receive services for at least six months. For more information about responsibilities for Early Intervention Program providers in the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process at exit, see questions 39 - 41.

Role of Parents in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form Process

25. What resources are available for parents about the Child Outcome Summary Form process?

The Bureau of Early Intervention has developed resources about the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process, including a developmental milestones checklist, for parents. These materials are printed and distributed to municipalities each year and should be given to parents/caregivers in preparation for the initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting for children included in the annual child outcomes sample. Parents/caregivers are not required to complete the parent checklist but may find it helpful as they participate in the discussion about their child's development with respect to expectation for their child's age.

Materials for parents are available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

26. Should parents or caregivers adjust for prematurity when considering the Child Outcome Summary Form process?

The Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process does require the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team to consider the child's current developmental status with respect to expectations for the child's age. Therefore, for children born prematurely, it is appropriate for the Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D), service coordinator, and/or evaluator to discuss the concept of adjusting for prematurity as part of the COSF process during the initial IFSP meeting.

EXIT – Child Outcome Summary Form Process

Completion of the Child Outcome Summary Form at Exit

28. When should the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form be completed?

The Child Outcome Summary Form should be completed at the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting closest to the time when the child is transitioning from the Early Intervention Program.

29. Who should be involved in the completion of the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form?

The Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) should be completed by the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team. The team may include the parent or caregiver, the ongoing service coordinator, the early intervention service providers, and the Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D). The Bureau of Early Intervention has created resources to assist IFSP team members in the COSF process. For more information about team members' roles and responsibilities and how to access resources, please see the following questions.

30. What questions are required on the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form?

For children for whom an exit assessment is completed, all information on the exit Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) is required, including:

  • NYEIS ID
  • Date completed
  • Child's name
  • Child's date of birth
  • Child's sex
  • County
  • IFSP team members
  • 7A, 7B, and 7C (including both the rating and either yes or no, comments are not required).
  • If an exit assessment cannot be completed for one of the specified reasons, the reason the exit assessment was not performed should be indicated in question 8. The top portion of the exit Child Outcome Summary form with the child's information is still required.

Before securely transmitting or data entering the COSF, Early Intervention Officials/Designees (EIO/D) must make sure that all the required information has been completed on the entry and exit COSF. Incomplete COSFs will be returned and not considered complete until all required information has been provided.

31. When should the Exit Child Outcome Summary Forms be submitted?

The Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) should be data entered or transmitted securely as the COSF are completed or as soon as possible if Early Intervention Officials/Designees (EIO/D) want to complete multiple forms before submitting. The Bureau of Early Intervention recommends submitting completed COSF at least monthly.

32. Where and how should the Exit Child Outcome Summary Forms be sent?

Please submit Child Outcome Summary Forms (COSF) by data entering the information into the Personal Electronic Response Data System (PERDS) via the Health Commerce System (HCS) or by Secure File Transfer via the HCS. COSF transmitted securely through HCS should be sent to Steven Koczak and with a CC to Katherine Reksc.

33. How is the Child Outcome Summary Form completed at exit if there is no in-person Individualized Family Service Plan meeting?

If an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting for a child is held by phone and the child has received early intervention services for at least six months and has been included in the annual child sample, the exit Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) information can be collected by telephone or each IFSP team member can submit an individual COSF to the Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D) separately. See questions above for how to transmit COSF information securely.

34. If a child has been included in a municipality's annual child outcomes sample and transfers in to another municipality is an Exit Child Outcome Summary Form needed, and who would complete it?

When a child transfers to a new municipality and the parent/caregiver has consented to the transfer of early intervention information, then the Entry Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) and all relevant documents should be transferred to the new municipality. The new municipality should be notified that the child is in the annual child outcome sample and that the new municipality is responsible for completing and submitted the Exit COSF to the Bureau of Early Intervention (BEI).

35. How should the exit Child Outcome Summary Form be completed if the child has received less than six months of early intervention services? How is the six months of service calculated?

If a child receives less than six months of early intervention services, the top portion of the exit form that contains the child's information should be completed, as well as question 8 at the bottom which explains why the form was not fully completed. This form should still be submitted on PERDS or sent in via the HCS to the Bureau. The six months of service is calculated from the first day on which a service or services in the IFSP are delivered.

37. How should the exit Child Outcome Summary Form be completed if the child has passed away?

If a child passes away, the top portion of the exit form that contains the child's information should be completed, as well as question 8 at the bottom which explains why the form was not fully completed. This form should still be submitted on PERDS or sent in via the HCS to the Bureau.

38. How should the exit Child Outcome Summary Form be completed if the municipality has lost contact with the parent or caregiver?

If the municipality is unable to contact the parent or caregiver, and the rest of the team is unable to complete the evaluation, then the top portion of the exit form that contains the child's information should be completed, as well as question 8 at the bottom which explains why the form was not fully completed. This form should still be submitted on PERDS or sent in via the HCS to the Bureau.

Role of Early Intervention Officials/Designees in the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form Process

39. What is the Early Intervention Official/Designee's responsibility in the Entry Child Outcome Summary Process?

For all children included in the sample, the municipal Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D) is responsible for notifying the child's service coordinator and providers that the child is included in the sample. Municipal Early Intervention Programs must establish procedures to track children enrolled in the Child Outcome Summary process to ensure exit Child Outcome Summary Forms (COSFs) are completed.

The EIO/D is responsible for facilitating the COSF process at the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting closest to the time the child is transitioning from the Early Intervention Program. The EIO/D must ensure all the information needed on the COSF is collected, and review the completeness of the COSF before submitting to the Bureau of Early Intervention (BEI). The EIO/D must ensure the COSF is submitted in a timely manner. For more information about the process to submit the COSF, see the questions 31 and 32.

The Bureau of Early Intervention has created an information packet for Early Intervention Officials/Designees about their responsibilities for assisting with the data collection process for children included in child outcome samples.

All materials are available and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

Role of Providers in the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form Process

40. Do Early Intervention Program providers need to participate in the Child Outcome Summary Form Process at exit?

Early Intervention Program providers who deliver early intervention services to children included in child outcome samples are responsible for participation in the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) process at exit for those children who received services for at least six months.

The Bureau of Early Intervention has created an information packet for Early Intervention Program providers about their responsibilities for assisting with the data collection process for children included in child outcome summary form samples and for whom they have delivered services.

All materials are also available and can be downloaded from the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention Program website: https://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/outcomes_survey/child.

Role of Parents in the Exit Child Outcome Summary Form Process

41. Can a child's parent or caregiver refuse to have the Child Outcome Entry Summary Form completed?

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued guidance to States that, since child outcomes data are needed for federal accountability for the Part C Early Intervention Programs and since it would not disclose personally identifiable information about the child, families cannot refuse to have their child's assessment data included in the aggregate. Therefore, the parent cannot refuse to have the Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) completed for her/his child. If the parent does not wish to participate in completion of the COSF, the service coordinator, Early Intervention Official/Designee (EIO/D), and evaluator should either each complete the COSF independently and submit individual responses to NYS DOH BEI for data entry or collaborate to complete and submit one COSF for the child. It is important to indicate on the COSF who participated in the COSF.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

Before transmitting or data entering Child Outcome Summary Forms (COSFs), Early Intervention Officials/Designees (EIO/D) must make sure that all the required information has been completed on the entry and exit COSF. Incomplete COSFs will be returned and not considered complete until all required information has been provided.

Contact information:

Question about the Child Outcomes Summary Form Process can be directed to the Bureau of Early Intervention (BEI) by emailing beipub@health.ny.gov or calling (518) 473-7016.