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  Florida recognizes that involving families is essential in the early intervention system. It is critical that family involvement occurs in all aspects of the early intervention process including the evaluation and assessment process, Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) process, implementation of procedural safeguards, transition, delivery of services and supports, training, and policy making. The previous sections illustrated how families are involved in the service delivery process for their individual child, but did not discuss the structure that Florida has in place to provide opportunities for families to play an active role in the formulation of policy. Specifically, parents should be offered opportunities and be encouraged to serve on state and local advisory boards, participate in advocacy and support groups, attend state and national conferences and collaboratively work with community providers in ongoing public awareness initiatives that address the unique aspects of services for children with special needs.

Additionally, adequate and effective training, information sharing, and support for families within Early Steps are key elements for ensuring families have the tools to fully participate throughout the early intervention process