Bridging the Gap in Children’s Services

At Summit DD, we constantly strive to meet the needs of everyone we serve. In recent months, Children’s Services staff noticed a critical need for families as they completed the Early Intervention (EI) program. From birth to age three, the EI program provides essential support to children and their families. Summit DD developmental specialists assist each family in all aspects of their daily lives. However, the EI process ends when the child turns three, leaving families to navigate the system with little support.

“Parents accessing services from Summit DD should never have to feel unsure about where to turn,” stated Director of Children’s Services, Holly Brugh. “During this transition, families need continued support. They also need assistance in re-determining their child’s Board eligibility,” remarked Brugh.

In order to bridge this gap, the eligibility and support specialist position was created. It provides a single point of contact for parents with children ages three to five. The specialist will guide families through the entire re-determination process and recommend ideal services and supports. The specialist will also provide continued support to parents by fielding questions and referring them to more services as the child becomes older.

When re-determining Board eligibility, the specialist will work hand-in-hand with the individual family, Help Me Grow service coordinators, developmental specialists and other care professionals. The eligibility and support specialist will obtain and analyze the child’s developmental evaluations, medical records and other reports. The specialist will also assist the family in completing the required paperwork to simplify the process. If a child is found to be ineligible, Summit DD will provide referrals to other community supports and follow up with the family to ensure their care needs are met.

After the eligibility process is complete, the specialist will help the family choose ideal Summit DD programs and private providers. “It’s the reason why I applied for the position,” stated Lori Nemec. “You help struggling families find resources, show them the options and point them down the right path for their child to learn and grow.” Lori has been with Summit DD for over 15 years and is very excited to grow in the new position.

As with all Summit DD positions, the eligibility and support specialist role will provide a firm foundation for our long range plan. Lori and the Children’s Services team will improve the quality of life for families, ensure customer satisfaction by meeting all needs and facilitate collaboration between agency employees and providers. The new position will also add to Summit DD’s sustainability by building trust with families served. It will also promote citizenship by linking ineligible individuals to other community supports.

Is your family in need of these services? Contact us for more information.

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