Are We Maximizing the Role of Caregivers’ Support Networks in Early Intervention?

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Part C Early Intervention is intended to build capacity among caregivers of infants and toddlers with special needs to use tailored strategies in natural environments. Satisfaction and perceived strategy use, however, remain unclear. In a Northeastern home-based program, caregivers (n = 195; 33% response) and providers (n = 66; 33% response) answered questions on strategy use, whether others are asked to use strategies, and perceived compliance. A subset of providers participated in a focus group. Most providers were “somewhat confident” caregivers use recommended strategies. Half of providers consistently encouraged caregivers to ask others to use strategies, with this linked to familiarity with ecological systems theory. Despite 86.2% of caregivers asking one or more person to use strategies, there was little confidence in compliance. Findings and implications are discussed, including revisiting coaching practices, exploring variability in support networks, and promoting strategy use across key partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-223
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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