PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE
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Informing Parents of IFSP Team Actions
Parents must receive written notice when the early invention program proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or placement of a child or the provision of appropriate Early ACCESS services to a child and/or family.
A Prior Written Notice (PWN):
- Provides information on what actions the early invention program is proposing/refusing
- Must be given to parents after the IFSP decision and prior to the implementation of the proposed/refused action
- Allows parents time to respond to the changes
Prior Written Notice Requirements
The prior written notice must include the following information:
- A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency
- An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action
- Reference to all procedural safeguards that are available
- A description of procedural safeguards available, including mediation, state complaint procedures, and due process complaint procedures, including a description of how to file complaints and required timelines
- Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of the laws and rules
Prior written notice will be provided to parents via a written letter, form, or email.
Prior written notice must be written in language understandable to the general public and provided in the parent's native language or another mode of communication unless clearly not feasible.
If the parent’s native language or another mode of communication is not a written language, the public agency must ensure and have written evidence that both the:
- Prior written notice was translated orally by other means into the parent’s native language or another mode of communication
- Parent understood the content of the notice
Examples of when a PWN is Required
Examples of actions and refusals requiring Prior Written Notice:
- Before post-referral screenings are conducted (included in Consent for and Prior Written Notice Post-Referral Screening for Early ACCESS).
- Before initial evaluations/assessments are conducted or not conducted (included in Consent for and Prior Written Notice of Evaluation and Assessment for Early ACCESS)
- Before determination of, or change in continued eligibility for Early ACCESS (included in Consent for and Prior Written Notice of Evaluation and Assessment for Early ACCESS)
- Before any substantive changes to the provision of services listed on the IFSP (e.g., change in location, amount of time, mode of delivery, etc.)
- Before the initiation or termination of a service
- Upon a change in placement in Early ACCESS (e.g. transition to another program)
Examples of when a PWN is NOT Required
Examples of actions and refusals not requiring Prior Written Notice:
- Change in a qualified service provider/coordinator, but not in actual service provided
- Change in location of service not controlled by agency or service provider, e.g., foster care, hospitalization, or family move
- Change in outcomes that do not either increase or decrease the services being provided
- A new area of concern has been identified and an assessment will be conducted in the identified area