Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can be enrolled in ESS?
Q: How do I refer my child for ESS?
Q: What happens after my child is referred to ESS?
Q: What happens during my child’s ESS evaluation?
Q: If my child is eligible for ESS, what happens next?
Q: If it is determined that my child needs therapy or other services through ESS, how is it paid for?
Q: How long can my child be enrolled in ESS?
Q: If my child gets evaluated and is determined not eligible for ESS, what happens next?
Q: What do you do if both parents work full time?
Q: How soon can I expect services to begin for my child after the evaluation?

Family-falldreamstime 2880021Q: Who can be enrolled in ESS?
A: We serve eligible children from birth to three years of age. Children must be found eligible by the New Hampshire guidelines and live in one of the towns in the area that we serve.

Q: How do I refer my child for ESS?
A:  Anybody can refer a child for ESS.  Often, physicians make the first referral because there is a concern about the child’s development that is brought up during a well-child pediatrician visit.  Sometimes referrals are made directly from a hospital after a child is born, or from a local clinic participating in developmental screenings. Other referrals come directly from parents because they have a concern about how their child is developing. Referrals can be made by contacting Community Developmental Services at 603-436-6111.

Q: What happens after my child is referred to ESS?
A: Once Community Developmental Services is contacted and the initial referral is made, your child’s information will be forwarded to one of the ESS providers in your area (one of which is Child and Family Services of NH).  Once Child and Family Services receives the information about your child, you will be contacted to set up an intake appointment.  During this intake meeting, our intake coordinator will talk to you about your family and your child and gather additional information for the ESS team. The intake coordinator will also discuss the ESS process, and any laws and policies you should be aware of will be explained at that time.  Following the intake appointment, you will be contacted to schedule your child’s evaluation.

Q: What happens during my child’s ESS evaluation?
A:  All ESS evaluations are conducted by at least two ESS staff members, and will consist of a combination of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, social worker, or early childhood educator.  Although they have different backgrounds and training, all staff members are skilled in evaluating all areas of early childhood development and determining if a child is eligible for Family Centered Early Supports and Services under New Hampshire guidelines. Evaluators will look at six areas of your child’s development to help determine if your child should receive any services. This is done at your home by playing with your child, observing your child, and asking you many questions about your child and his or her development.

Q: If my child is eligible for ESS, what happens next?
A: Based on your child’s needs, a plan (called an IFSP) will be developed with you to determine which services would be of most benefit to your child. Your family and your child will then be matched with a home visitor (which could be an OT, PT, SLP, Educator or social worker) who best suits these needs, and this person will then come to your home to work with you and your child to help accomplish the goals you have for your child.  Frequently, services are provided once a week, but can vary depending on your child’s needs.

Q: If it is determined that my child needs therapy or other services through ESS, how is it paid for?
A: ESS services are funded through a combination of federal, state and local monies and grants. In addition, your private medical insurance and/or Medicaid (if applicable) may be billed. Services for your child can not be denied because of a lack of insurance coverage, and at this time there is no out-of-pocket cost to families for ESS services.

Q: How long can my child be enrolled in ESS?
A: Once your child has an evaluation and is determined eligible for services, the plan that is developed is considered active for one year. If you and the members of your child’s ESS team decide that services are no longer needed within that year, your child can be discharged from ESS at that time. If your child is still enrolled in services after one year, his or her progress throughout that year will be reassessed and current developmental information will be gathered so that a new yearly plan can be made and services can continue. If your child continues to be eligible, services can continue up to his or her third birthday. Once your child turns three, your ESS team will help you determine what other services may be beneficial in meeting your child’s needs (this may include public or private preschool services, outpatient therapies, or community programs like gymnastics or swimming classes).

Q: If my child gets evaluated and is determined not eligible for ESS, what happens next?
A: The ESS staff who evaluated your child will write a comprehensive evaluation report detailing your child’s strengths and abilities in all areas of development. This report can be shared with your child’s pediatrician and any other person you wish. Along with this assessment report, the team will also send you additional information about child development, checklists to help you track your child’s progress, and developmental activity suggestions. If it is determined that your child has a small delay in some area of development, but does not qualify for ESS, the ESS team may have suggestions for other options in the community to meet your child’s needs (such as outpatient therapies or local community programs like toddler groups, gymnastics classes or library story times). If you continue to have concerns for your child’s development after the assessment, you can always contact Community Developmental Services (436-6111) or Child and Family Services directly for another evaluation at any time up to your child’s third birthday.

Q: What do you do if both parents work full time?
A: Although we prefer that the parents be at the therapy sessions so that they can become fully involved in their child’s treatment, we understand that this is not always possible. We can work with your child at home with a nanny/babysitter or other caregiver present or at your child’s daycare (whether at a center or at an in-home daycare).

Q: How soon can I expect services to begin for my child after the evaluation?
A:  In most cases, the assessment team will let you know immediately at the completion of the assessment if your child is eligible for services and will have some idea as to who will be working with your family.  Services then typically begin the week after the assessment.