Child Find Program
What is the Child Find program? Child Find is a process for identifying and evaluating children ages 3 to 21, who are suspected of having an educational disability and may be eligible for special education and related services. Emphasis is placed on early identification of all children with disabilities including students who attend a private/parochial school located in Cecil County regardless of residency.
Who can make a referral? Any individual who is familiar with the child’s development may make a Child Find referral including: parents/guardians, medical professionals, and family service professionals.
What happens after I make a referral? After referring your child, you will be contacted by an IEP Facilitator or Building Coordinator from a local school to schedule a screening meeting. During the screening meeting the team will review all available information about the child. When possible, bring your child to the meeting in order to participate in screening activities. If the results of the screening meeting indicates that further evaluation is warranted then the team will order relevant evaluations. The team will coordinate with you to evaluate your child in the identified areas either at the local or school or private/parochial school location. When evaluations are completed the team will reconvene to review the results of evaluations and determine your child’s eligibility for special education and related services. If eligible the team will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Service Plan as appropriate.
What are the services? Child Find services are designed to provide community based services to children not enrolled in Cecil County Public Schools. Some examples of these services include:
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Specialized Instruction
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Other services may be available as appropriate
For children who qualify for multiple services, it may be recommended that they enroll in a public school program in order to receive services. Children who attend a parentally placed private school are only eligible to receive Speech and Language therapy at their school.
Where are services provided? Child Find services can be provided at a licensed child care program, a local elementary school on an itinerant basis, or at private/parochial school within Cecil County.
What is a Service Plan? A service plan spells out the special education and related services that Cecil County will provide to a child parentally placed in a private school. These services are provided at no cost to parents. These children do not have an individual right to get the same special education services as they would in public school. Instead, they are entitled to equitable services that are determined in consultation with private school representatives. A service plan must be created by the same people who make up an IEP team, including a representative of the private school.
What if my Child attends a Private School in another jurisdiction? The local school district in which the private school is located is responsible for Child Find activities. Contact your private school to obtain the referral number for the local Child Find program. If you need additional assistance contact the Cecil County Public Schools Child Find program and we will help you to locate the appropriate referral information.