State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

What is the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)?

The State Systemic Improvement Plan or SSIP, is required by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Each State's Early Intervention Program (EIP) was charged with developing an SSIP that focused on either improving child outcomes or improving family outcomes. The NYS Early Intervention Coordinating Council (EICC), the NYS Bureau of Early Intervention's governor-appointed advisory council, unanimously supported the selection of family outcomes for the New York State (NYS) SSIP. The SSIP project in NYS is called Improving Family Centeredness Together (IFaCT).

Why did NYS and the EICC choose to focus on family outcomes?

The NYS Department of Health (NYS DOH) completed an analysis of both family and child outcomes data in the EIP. In response to a state survey, only 65% of families reported receiving enough help on family outcomes. For this reason, the focus of the SSIP is on family outcomes, as increased family centeredness can lead to improved child outcomes.

What is IFaCT?

The NYS DOH is working with each county and borough to improve the Early Intervention Program (EIP) experience for families and children. Over the course of three years, the NYS DOH has partnered with three New York University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to use an evidenced-based learning collaborative model to improve family outcomes by ensuring the program - and the services provided - are family-centered. UCEDD staff, municipal administrators, EIP providers, and parents will share experiences, plan strategies, and develop innovative ideas to further support children and families within the EIP. Together, we aim to improve the quality of EI services, increase parent satisfaction, and improve health and developmental outcomes for the young children we serve.

IFaCT is a three-part project. First, in the planning phase, teams use data and evidence-based strategies to identify quality improvement goals. Next, in the collaboration phase, teams communicate at an in-person learning collaborative meeting and through monthly coaching calls supported by the UCEDDs on how to implement their local plans.

Over the course of a year, teams collect data to study the impact their change has made, and then act on it. If the change improved family outcomes the team would increase its use, and if the change does not help, the team would reevaluate and adjust their plan accordingly.

Once the local projects are completed, the UCEDDs will analyze the data and use the information to develop web-based training and resource materials on best practices for family centeredness.

The NYS DOH will work on integrating these best practices into state-sponsored professional development and training to reinforce family centeredness, and update policies and procedures to support family centered practices in the EIP.