August 17, 2010

Benchmarks for Early Screening and Testing (BEST)
Jane Squires, PhD, University of Oregon
Project Summary:
Early intervention services for infants and toddlers improve developmental, mental health, and health outcomes for young children and their families. Currently, few states track the timeliness of services that young children and their families receive nor report on the responsiveness of their systems to individual and family needs. Project BEST proposes to investigate current early intervention reporting systems and develop reasonable benchmarks that will serve as key, standard components of state early intervention systems for screening, assessment and diagnosis. Research will be conducted in three phases. First, an environmental scan of selected state data systems measuring the number of children and the timing of screening, assessment, and diagnostic phases for early intervention services will be conducted. Second, benchmark measures for reporting numbers of children and implementation timeframes will be developed. Finally, benchmarks will be pilot tested in two counties in Oregon that significantly vary in their current abilities to meet standards for identifying and serving young children.