Tips for Families Relocating
Today I visited one of my homecare families for their weekly speech therapy appointment. Early in our session, mom shared that they have been making plans to move to a neighboring state by the end of this month. Afraid of losing services for her daughter, she then asked if our therapists would be able to travel to their new home which will now be counties away from where they currently live. Of course, I then explained to her that we only provide services for children living in our county and that she would have a new homecare team once they moved. We then began to talk about steps she could take to help make the transition for her daughter as smooth as possible.
The following are my suggested steps in the event a family is relocating and has a child receiving special education services:
- Contact your current service coordinator and therapists and let them know of your plans to move. Ask what procedures they have in place for this situation.
- Have a copy of your child's most recent IFSP/IEP and Evaluation Report on hand.
- Contact the county where are you moving to - call them at least one month prior to your move, let them know you are coming and find out what their procedures are for new residents and students. Be proactive and set up an initial meeting to begin the process.
- Gather session notes and recent progress report s to share with your child's new therapy team in the event they would like to continue with the current therapists' treatment plan.
In my experience and to my knowledge, how service delivery is implemented when a child moves to a new state depends upon the individual county and state. For this specific case, annual testing was conducted less than a month ago and a new IFSP was written and signed directly following the results. My hope for this family is that the state where they are moving to will be able to receive and implement all this newly drafted and signed information. The goal is that there will be little to no lull in services and the transition to a new state with new therapists will be as easy and as smooth as possible.