Early Intervention Specialist

Posted: 08/20/2021

I) Job Purpose

Provides service coordination and/or specialized skills services, to developmentally delayed infants, toddlers and their families as identified in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and from the point of referral to eligibility determination. Ensures that all (0-3) children are served timely and appropriately and in keeping with their procedural safeguards, rights and needs. Focuses on supporting the parent-child relationship so that positive outcomes can occur. Commits to the belief that parenting is the most important job there is and that every parent/caregiver can be successful.

This position fully embraces the mission and 7 key principles for providing early intervention services in the natural environment.


II) Essential Functions

  • Participates in project groups, committees, child find activities and interagency program planning as requested by the Chief of ECI.
  • May organize and facilitate (inclusive) community groups, activities and opportunities for children with occupational therapy and/or motor needs.
  • May serve as the Program Lead for EIS’s
  • May serve as the Division Lead for EIS’s.
  • May provide training to ECI staff and the community.
  • May supervise student interns(s)
  • Must participate in required supervision, meetings and trainings.
  • Must maintain professional licensure and complete required continuing education contact hours each year as mandated by license.
  • Must be able to work within a modified trans-disciplinary team approach/setting.
  • Must demonstrate flexibility with work, attitude and communication with ECI staff and families.
  • Must have the ability to learn and implement early intervention strategies and techniques.
  • Must demonstrate emotional control, good judgment and safe practices when under stress.
  • Must demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  • Performance standards are performed as applicable with MHMR’s We CARE values “We Connect People in Our Community.  We Provide Access to Services.  We Link People to Resources.  We Empower People.”
  • Perform other job duties or responsibilities as requested or assigned.


A. Complete Intake, Screenings, Eligibility Determination and Initial IFSP for all new ECI referrals assigned. 
Performance Standards:

  1. Contact family within two (2) working days of receiving the referral to schedule the initial two (2) hour appointment for intake, screenings, eligibility determination and IFSP. Ensure that this appointment is scheduled with the second discipline representing the child’s primary area of concern. Arrange for an interpreter/translator if needed. Document any barriers and efforts made to meet 45 day timelines and or to obtain physical exam/well child/therapy orders. Attempts and documentation should occur every three days. Request copy of any legal custody documents for ECI child. Discuss parent/caregiver concerns. Begin to initiate needs assessment and routines based interview with family (foster, kinship or bio).
  2. Complete the initial intake, screening, eligibility determination and initial IFSP within twenty-one (21) days of referral unless otherwise approved by supervisor. Document reason for delay in meeting 21 day timeline. Consult with supervisor if it appears that 45 day timeline may be compromised and decide on action plan based on family versus program reasons for delay as well as other mitigating factors.
  3. Coordinate assessments/eligibility determinations by ensuring that all team members are informed of time, place, location, special circumstances; the test materials are complete; the meeting starts on time; the child's caregivers can participate in their preferred way and all other staff roles are designated before starting. Use a person centered approach and discourage dual conversations.
  4. If the ECI infant/toddler lives with foster or kinship family and has visitation with biological family, coordinate assessment/eligibility determination with these families and the biological family if possible.
  5. Secure documentation of therapy orders and or medical records by physician or nurse practitioner on or before the initial IFSP meeting, or no later than (10) days after IFSP meeting. Work with the families to obtain these medical records (and therapy orders if needed). If the required therapy orders/medical records are not procured by the initial IFSP discuss the importance and the need with the family of having and getting a well-child exam and problem solve how you can assist the family with this. Accurately explain the ECI philosophy, services available, and home visit guidelines. Offer the option to view the IFSP video/CD/DVD etc.
  6. Accurately explain and review the ECI Rights Booklet and procedural safeguards, with the family and have them sign the acknowledgement form.
  7. Complete and have signed Authorizations for Release of Information prior to requesting/releasing any client information either verbally or in writing. Complete ROI’s for any of the following entities: ISD, PCP, Physician specialists such as Gastroenterologist or Ophthalmologist, Audiology, CCMC, ISD, hospital birth records, CPS, CASA, Foster Agency, Child Care, etc. after explaining reason why and obtaining written parental consent.  Exceptions include referral source and CPS/CAPTA referrals in investigative stage which allow communication of identifying information in order to process referral through intake and enrollment status.
  8. Prepare the child’s family for the intake, screenings, eligibility determination and IFSP by explaining the process and how the family can participate.
  9. Complete Prior Written Notice and Consent Forms prior to screenings, assessments and IFSPs.
  10. Serve as the facilitator, screener, assessor, coach and/or recorder (and/or interpreter) for the interdisciplinary team during the intake, screenings, eligibility determination and IFSP.
  11. Interpret and share test results with the family by sitting next to family so family has a visual of what you are saying. Ensure that all required components of the IFSP are addressed and that the IFSP is written in a manner that supports the infant/toddlers relationship with his or her biological family and if applicable the infants relationship with the foster or kinship family.
  12. Review Procedural Safeguards and IFSP with family prior to family signing consent for services or a change in service.
  13. Accurately complete and turn in all initial intake, screening, eligibility determination and IFSP paperwork 1 day after completion of the appointment visit. Paperwork is due to the data entry specialist by 8:30 am the day after the appointment. Complete the Diagnosis Form and turn it into the office manager within 3 days of the IFSP.  Send the Screening/Assessment Results Form and to the referral source and/or the child’s PCP within 2 days of the IFSP. Provide copy of test results and IFSP to family at the time of the appointment.
  14. For children involved with the CPS and Court system obtain court papers showing legal conservatorship and custody arrangements at time of intake; and if during the course of the ECI journey, the ECI child is placed in a new home review the ECI Rights Booklet with the new caregiver, obtain new Release of Information forms, review the current IFSP and most recent eligibility determination/assessment results,  and administer a new Family Needs Assessment, complete a routines based interview and amend the existing IFSP as indicated and needed. Review need for a new FCS packet to be completed.

B. Provide coordination and collaboration of ECI and non-ECI services for assigned infants and toddlers from intake and enrollment through discharge follow-up. (For paperwork see section G)
Performance Standards:

  1. Implement, assist with or track all services and strategies identified in the IFSP ensuring that all target dates are met.  Exceptions must be documented.
  2. Assist family with accessing resources to meet the needs of the infant/toddler as identified by the IFSP. These may include but are not limited to informational, emotional and or material support such as securing well child/ therapy orders, assisting with doctors/specialists appointments, ISD and Head Start referrals, Vision and Hearing needs, adaptive equipment/assistive technology, transportation, childcare, respite; health insurance and medical, parenting and developmental  information.
  3. If an emergency or crisis arises inform ECI supervisor immediately and develop action plan to be implemented. (e.g., Contact MCOT/MHMR Crisis line call or make a CPS Report). Ensure child is safe.
  4. Collaborate and coordinate with any relevant programs and /or agencies the family is involved with and gives consent for.
  5. Complete a Change of IFSP within one (1) week to reflect changing needs/services of the child and family.   Review Procedural Safeguards and IFSP with family prior to family signing consent for services or a change in services. Complete/update FCS.
  6. Share any ECI evaluation results or newly acquired medical records with IFSP team and review current IFSP to determine, what if any new outcomes and or strategies need to be added, revised or ended. After incorporating recommendations into outcomes and strategies review and discuss services, frequency and durations, making changes that reflect a modified trans- disciplinary approach.
  7. Ensure that documentation for child's immunizations and well-baby checks is in child's chart and updated at every 6-month review and annual review.
  8. When indicated Explain transition and the options available. Document in the IFSP a transition plan before the age of two and assist the family through the process of determining the next setting.
  9. Coordinate with social service agencies (WIC, CCMS etc.), medical personnel, child cares, Head Start/EHS and ISDs to insure quality services that meet the child/family needs.
  10. Monitor/track family no shows/cancellations bringing these to the attention of the supervisor for the purpose of developing an action plan. Discuss these missed appointments with the family in a respectful and reflective manner.

C. Provide ongoing consultation/information to parents and other caregivers as identified in IFSP. 
Performance Standards:

  1. Provide detailed information about typical and atypical birth to three development in the areas of social-emotional, cognitive, receptive and expressive communication, articulation, fine and gross motor, and self-help as indicated through observation, coaching or questions that arise.
  2. Provide general information about the importance and benefit of establishing routines, different temperaments, attachment, sensory integration, parenting birth to three, and coping skills.
  3. Provide information about and assistance with opportunities for inclusion of child/family in community activities and in natural settings on an ongoing basis.
  4. Seek assistance from supervisor and/or make referrals to team infant mental health specialist when more complex parenting issues are presented. Report and consult with IFSP team or IMH in a prompt manner any red flags regarding possible attachment concerns, PDD/Autism concerns; sensory integration concerns, feeding problems, serious behavior or sleep concerns, and any unrealistic expectations by the parent especially in the areas of discipline and toilet training.
  5. Consult with Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Registered Nurse, AI Teacher, VI Teacher and/or Registered Dietitian about any red flags observed. If indicated, schedule individual evaluations promptly once any applicable physician orders have been received.
  6. Provide written and or verbal information to the physician when indicated to secure the orders for evaluations / therapies; or to request consideration for special testing or need to see a medical specialist.
  7. Use a coaching model for intervention. Communicate effectively with families about the infants/toddlers condition and recommended strategies, by using active  listening, speaking on an appropriate cognitive and cultural level, reflecting and paraphrasing, wondering, coaching, encouraging, stating things in more than one way to accommodate the listener's needs, checking or clarifying that the family understands what you have said and seeking mutually satisfying strategies. At each session discuss parent’s perception of child’s progress and check to see if session met parent’s expectations. If it did not discuss what parent might like to see happen differently.

D. Plan and implement routines based interventions in various developmental areas as identified by IFSP.  
Performance Standards:

  1. Plan (or find assistance in developing and planning) a specific treatment plan to be implemented in the home or other natural setting that meets the outcomes and strategies as outlined on the IFSP.   Jointly develop goals with the family and other team members. Measure progress and adjust goals/strategies and outcomes through dialogue with the family as needed.
  2. Assist with implementation of home programs through demonstration, coaching and other techniques for parents/caregivers.
  3. Prior to each visit be prepared, by planning particular activities based on families preference and related to IFSP strategies and goals, to use during the  home or community based visit and document how the parent participated, what you demonstrated and the child’s response to the intervention (the effectiveness of the strategies)  in the progress note. Review session with caregiver before leaving.  If appropriate, discuss and provide home program activities for the family. Periodically assess family’s satisfaction.
  4. At the visit begin by learning what is new and what progress has occurred or not occurred. With the family, clarify goals and routines to be addressed during the session with the caregiver
  5. Engage caregiver and other appropriate family members in planned activities so that the caregiver can demonstrate all activities and the EIS and family can monitor their effectiveness.
  6. Using appropriate developmental checklists, evaluate progress toward goals on a regular basis as needed.  Consult with specialists when progress is not occurring as expected and or any red flags are identified.  Revise goals and strategies as needed.
  7. Provide opportunities for the family to learn infant massage techniques.

E. Meets Performance measures/expectations 
Performance Standards

  1. Schedule intake/eligibility determination/IFSP within 2 days of receiving referrals
  2. Complete initial IFSP within 21 days from referral.
  3. Complete 28 day intervention visit within 8 days of completion of initial IFSP
  4. Complete quarterly reviews on or before due date.
  5. Complete all annual assessments and annual IFSP’s on or before due date in T-Kids manual and system (within 1 year of initial)
  6. Complete transition plan by age two years. Update regularly.
  7. Complete transition meeting for all clients between 2 years 3 months and 2 years 8 months.
  8. With parent/caregiver consent, refer, in writing, clients to part B (the ISD) by 2 years 9 months (on or before 90 days prior to turning three).
  9. Maintain a planned vs. delivered rate minimum of 80% each month.
  10. Manages individual caseload in a manner that ensures that all children in the program receive quality services for their identified needs, in a timely manner.
  11. Maintains and submits all required documentation daily.

F. Ensure proper care and cleaning of toys and equipment used in implementing interventions.
Performance Standards:

  1. Using appropriate disinfectant solution, clean all toys and equipment after each use before using with another child.
  2. Wash hands with soap and water before and after any/all contact with child.  If soap and water are not available, use program approved hand disinfectant before and after any/all contact with child.
  3. Report any damage or loss of toys or equipment to supervisor immediately.
  4. Maintain a record of loaned equipment
  5. Inform supervisor of any needs for special equipment and or supplies


III) Knowledge of Laws, Policies/Procedures, Skills, Education and Abilities

  • MHMRTC Operating Procedures
  • ECI Policy and Procedures
  • Knowledge of Texas laws regarding reporting child abuse/neglect
  • OT licensing/registration requirements
  • Knowledge of typical (normal) birth to age three growth and development.
  • Knowledge about developmental delays in children birth to three years.
  • Knowledge about disordered and atypical development in children birth to three years.
  • Knowledge of medical diagnoses and conditions and their impact or potential impact on birth to three growth and development.
  • Knowledge, skills and ability to work effectively with families /adults from various cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, cognitive, social -emotional and educational statuses.
  • Knowledge of community resources available to assist families with financial, educational, medical, social and developmental needs.
  • Knowledge of infant- toddler evaluation and assessment protocols, curriculums, methodologies, therapeutic strategies, techniques and monitoring/ measuring progress.
  • Comprehension of the IFSP process.
  • Ability and skills to communicate well both orally and in writing. 
    Ability to strive to make effective working relationships with team members and families that are characterized by mutual support, open communication, trust and respect.
  • Ability to problem solve with infrequent assistance from supervisor. Identify and use a rational approach for the situation. Communicate problems and decisions to the supervisor.
  • Ability to discuss uncomfortable and potentially conflict producing topics, in a professional and effective manner, with families, community agencies and other ECI staff.


IV) Internal & External Customer Service

This position requires extensive internal (team members, agency personnel) and external (doctors, ISDs, day care providers, other agencies) contacts.  The EIS will accomplish this with above average written and oral skills.

V) Travel

This position requires driving to and from locations for work and/and may require overnight traveling. Employees are required to have a license in good standing and be able to be covered by agency liability insurance. If personal vehicle is utilized for work travel, then maintaining personal auto insurance coverage is required.

Minimum Requirements

Required Education
Bachelor's Degree

Defined Education
Acceptable Degrees (review Early Childhood Services, including substitutions & requirements: Click Here)

  • Adaptive Physical Education – Child Development
  • Child Life – Communication Disorders
  • Family Studies – Health
  • Human Development – Psychology
  • Social Work – Rehabilitative Counseling/Rehabilitation Services
  • Sociology – Special Education


  • Any Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 18 hours of semester course credit relevant to early childhood intervention, including 3 hours of semester course credit in early childhood development or early childhood special education


  • Be registered as an EIS in the State of Texas prior to 09/01/2011

Required Experience

Defined Experience

Forty clock hours of continuing education in early childhood development or early childhood special education completed within five years prior to employment with ECI may substitute for the three hour semester course credit requirement in early childhood development or early childhood special education.

  • Child growth and development
  • Child psychology or child and adolescent psychology
  • Children with special needs
  • Typical language development

One (1) year ECI or related human services experience with children ages birth to 3 years

Required License(s)
Valid Texas Driver’s License with an acceptable driving record.
Must provide license (if applicable) and official documentation of all educational attainment i.e. Transcript/Degree/Certificate

Required Supervisory Experience
0 year(s)

Testing Requirements
Pre-employment tests including drug and TB Screening, Physical Exam including balance and lift test.

Lifting Requirements
25 Pounds

Our Benefits:

Our total rewards program offers benefits* to full time employees beginning 1st of the month following hire date including but not limited to:

• Comprehensive healthcare options (Medical, Dental, and Vision)

• Life insurance and additional supplemental accident and hospitalization plans

• 401a match and 457 deferred compensation plans

• Paid vacation and holidays; varied flexible work environment locations

• Annual tuition reimbursement program

• Student Loan Forgiveness

• Professional development programs and training

• And more…..

Insurance eligibility:

• Full time employees begin 1st of the month following hire date

• Market driven positions (full time or part time) begin immediately after hire date

• Select part time market driven positions are eligible for most insurance plans

• Substitute status jobs are not eligible for benefits

For more information, click here.

Additional Information

*MHMR of Tarrant County (“MHMR”) and its affiliates and subsidiaries have an internal recruiting department. MHMR may supplement that internal capability from time to time with assistance from temporary staffing agencies, placement services, and professional recruiters herein after referred to collectively as “Recruiters"). Recruiters are hereby specifically directed NOT to contact MHMR employees directly in an attempt to present candidates – MHMR recruiting team or other authorized MHMR personnel must present ALL candidates to hiring managers. For more information please visit our website www.mhmrtc.org

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