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Roles of teachers and parents in IFSP/IED process
Teachers play a very important role in the Individualised Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualised Education Plan (IEP) process of children with disabilities. Parents are equally relevant in the implementation of the IFSP and IEP process. Both parents and teachers must work together for the successful development of children.
The teachers have a very important role of identifying the children who require special care. They screen, then they determine the eligibility of those children, they determine the services important for those children, plan the program and then they do monitoring and evaluation of the process for the children. During this process, the teachers should make sure that the children are screened using their native language. The culture and literacy of the family members, mainly the parents, must be considered during the process (Allen, Cowdery, & Johnson, 2012). The teachers also have a very significant role of sharing the results they get from screening and the assessment results. They are required to explain the meaning of the results and why an evaluation should be helpful for the children (Holbrook, & Koenig, 2001).
Another important role of the teachers is respecting the values of the families, traditions, beliefs especially the child rearing beliefs, communication and style of decision making for the family and how the family view involvement of an individual who is not from that family. The teacher must ensure to maintain trust so as to enhance communication with parents. Confidentiality is extremely important for teachers as it shows that there is respect for the families trust in the teacher (Allen, Cowdery, & Johnson, 1995). The teachers also have to learn to respect the individual differences between the parents for the benefit of the children.
Visiting the children in their home environments is a very important responsibility for the teachers. The home visits enable the teacher to know more about the child and understand the competences and skills of that child in their home setting. Home visits helps teachers to understand children’s backgrounds, and device how to work more effectively with them in school settings.
Working together with families is also crucial. The teachers must work with families to come up with the expectations for the ongoing process. They come up with the needs of the family, and they are designed in a way that they can be sustained by the staff. They also propose the contact person for the child. During this process, the teachers and the parents come up with strategies for communication with the families for instance if it will be through telephones or meetings.
The teachers also need to report any problems they notice with the children. For example if they notice or suspect any child abuse by the parents, they should report to the relevant authorities. They should also ensure that they bring to the attention of the parents what they have noticed with the children. In this case, these teachers must know when to confront the parents. For instance, if the child looked scared he/she should not confront the parents as this could lead to the child being abused again.
Working with the children is also critical. Teachers must work with the children to implement the Individualised Education Plan. The teacher may do this by working with the help of other staffs of the school to provide expertise in addressing the child’s unique needs. They can also assist the parents when the child is undergoing the evaluation process.
Educating the parents is yet another responsibility that teachers have. They do this through giving them information about the organisations which can offer assistance when they are going through the process in the community. They also educate them by familiarising them with both the federal and state laws and regulations that protect the children with disabilities together with their families (Allen, Cowd.............
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