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Initiatives

Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence (TRACE)

Web site: www.tracecenter.info

TRACE Website The major goals of TRACE are to identify and promote the use of scientifically based models and practices for child find, early identification, and referral of infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities and their families to early intervention and early childhood special education programs. The TRACE staff conducts practice-based research syntheses and develops practice guides for improving enrollment of eligible children in early intervention and preschool programs. The main outcome of TRACE is a better understanding of methods and procedures that improve child find, early identification, and referral models and practices used by state- and community-based early childhood intervention programs. TRACE is a collaborative effort between the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute; the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the UCLID Center; the Institute for Family-Centered Care; the Family, Infant and Preschool Program; and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


State and Local Influences of Part C Enrollment (SLIP)

The major goals of SLIP are to identify and map between-state and within-state variation in Part C Early Intervention enrollment throughout the U.S. A second goal of the project is to investigate which state-level policy and practice variables and county-level demographic characteristics (poverty rates, racial/ethnic composition, availability of health services, access to transportation, etc.) contribute to variation in participation patterns. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping technology is being used to display variations in both enrollment and factors associated with participation rates. Findings will be disseminated to policymakers, researchers, Part C Infant/Toddler Program coordinators, practitioners, and parents to increase enrollment of eligible infants and toddlers who are SLIPing through the cracks. SLIP is a Student Initiated Research Project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Factors Associated with Patterns of Participation in Part C Infant/Toddler Programs and Part B (619) Preschool Special Education Programs

The major goal of the Participation Rates Study is to determine the extent to which different ecological factors influence variations in numbers of children (per 100 live births) served in early intervention and early childhood special education programs. The study is investigating a variety of state level factors (e.g., state eligibility definitions, newborn screening practices), service/community factors (e.g., number of pediatricians, number of hospitals), and family factors (e.g., poverty level, educational level) to determine the extent to which they influence variations in enrollment rates to Part C and Part B (619) programs. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division


Part C and Part B (619) Coordinator Survey of Child Find Practices Study

The major goal of the Survey of Child Find Practices Study is to determine the types and kinds of child find practices that Part C and Part B (619) Programs are using to promote the identification of children potentially eligible for participation in early childhood intervention programs. The survey has been constructed to identify the most frequently used practices and relate variations in use of different child find practices to variations in the rates of participation in early childhood intervention programs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Child Pathways into Early Intervention Study

The major goal of the Child Pathways Study is to determine the pathways taken by infants identified with or suspected of having a disability or delay as part of their enrollment in early intervention programs. The study involves children from five diagnosis categories (nonspecified identified disabilities, chromosomal abnormalities, motor delays, medically fragile, and developmentally delayed) who were enrolled "early" or "late" in an early intervention program. The major outcomes of the study will be (1) a better understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by parents seeking supports and resources for their infants with disabilities or delays and (2) guidelines that practitioners can use to facilitate early entry into early intervention programs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Influences of the Medical Home on Participation in Early Intervention Program Study

The major goal of the Medical Home Study is to determine the extent to which physicians and other medical professionals using a Medical Home model make referrals to early intervention and preschool special education programs when children meet state eligibility criteria. The study is being conducted with practitioners throughout the United States. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Hospital Practitioners' Referrals to Early Intervention Study

The major goal of the Hospital Practitioners' Referrals Study is to identify why practitioners from various departments of regional and local hospitals refer children they deem in need of community supports to early intervention programs. Hospital staff responsible for referring children to community services are interviewed to identify the child or family factors that trigger a referral, what services or individuals they refer, and why those particular services or providers are chosen. These interviews are being conducted with staff in Level 1, 2, and 3 hospitals. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education Program Child Find Practices Study

The major goal of this study is to identify the child find practices that community-based early intervention and preschool special education programs use to locate and find children eligible for program participation. Programs involved in the study are selected because they have either low or high rates of child participation (number of children per 100 births). Programs are further divided into ones that have different state eligibility criteria (liberal, moderate, restrictive). The findings are expected to shed light on child find practices that are most effective in locating eligible program participants. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Promoting Parent Self Referrals to Early Childhood Intervention Study

The major goal of the Promoting Parent Self Referrals Study is to determine if a targeted mailing campaign increases parent self referrals to early intervention. Social marketing procedures were used to develop three different mailings describing different aspects of an early intervention program. The effectiveness of the targeted mailing is being assessed using a multiple baseline design. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.


Promoting Physicians' Referrals to Early Intervention Programs Study

The major goal of the Promoting Physicians' Referral Study is to determine if a targeted promotional flyer increases the referrals made by physicians to community-based early intervention programs. The intervention is being implemented with pediatricians and general practice physicians. The targeted flyer describes the different types of services provided by an early childhood intervention program and highlights the expertise of the staff in the program. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research-to-Practice Division.