3.5 Million Awarded to Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FL UCEDD) to Establish Center for Early Intervention

February 19, 2008

UCEDD Director Dr Lise Fox and Glen Dunlap along with Barbara J. Smith and Philip S. Strain from the University of Colorado will serve as co-principal investigators of the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI). TACSEI is a five-year $3.5 million award from the US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to establish a national center for improving the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of young children with or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The mission of TACSEI is to identify, disseminate, and promote the implementation of evidence-based practices in order to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of young children with or at risk for delays or disabilities.

TACSEI will promote the use the a tiered promotion, prevention, and intervention framework known as the Pyramid Model for providing early intervention services. The Pyramid Model, which has been widely endorsed throughout the United States, will serve as the unifying structure for Center training, technical assistance, dissemination and evaluation activities. The framework includes three levels of practice to address the needs of all children, including children with persistent challenging behavior. The Center will develop and test variations of the Pyramid Model across service systems and age groups, and then scale-up those effective models across states with a focus on supporting the social development of young children who receive early intervention services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Center activities will build on considerable momentum and partnerships previously established. A team of professionals from five universities will continue and expand on technical assistance efforts funded previously by the OSEP. Partners include the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University, the National Implementation Research Network, and the University of Kansas.

"OSEP recognizes that providers, policymakers, and other early childhood experts are becoming increasingly aware of the need for early intervention to support healthy social-emotional development in young children," said Fox. "Our existing knowledge of the supports and guidance needed for young children with or at risk of disabilities and their families, combined with new knowledge gained from future Center activities, will help OSEP achieve their goal of providing effective early intervention programs.

The Center will promote the social development of young children and improve early intervention results by providing training and technical assistance, guiding and evaluating model demonstrations, and disseminating information on effective practices. During the next five years, Center staff will

  • Leverage resources by conducting collaborative training and technical assistance with relevant national centers and organization
  • Develop and coordinate a cadre of trainers and coaches that are competent to deliver training and support on evidence-based practices and the Pyramid Model of Prevention and Intervention
  • Maintain ongoing communication with family consumers and ensure their input into all Center products and p
  • Coordinate efforts with other federally funded TA Centers to maximize effects.
  • Establish ongoing evaluation systems for all major Center functions and make course corrections as needed
  • Maintain a website that offers up-to-date information for multiple consumers: parents, providers, administrators, policy makers, and provides web-based TA and training opportunities.

For additional information, contact Lise Fox at (813) 974-6100.

The following web site provides more information relevant to this topic: www.challengingbehavior.org