First Steps serves as the System Point of Entry (SPOE) for Regions IV and V for EarlySteps; operating as a collaboration of people, ideas, and common goals. Our team is driven by our mission and belief system. We are committed to providing high-quality services to infant, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. Our focus is on evidence-based practices that yield positive outcomes for children and their families.

Why Early Intervention?

The intent of early intervention is to build upon the natural routines and supports of families and children within their communities and to support families in meeting the health and developmental needs of their child by integrating services into the naturally occurring activities and routines of the family.

System Point of Entry for Louisiana Regions IV and V

Since 2003, First Steps has served as the entry point for children referred to EarlySteps. We are responsible for initial support coordination and coordination of the eligibility determination process through the completion of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for each eligible child and their family.

System Point of Entry for Louisiana Regions IV and V

As the SPOE, we serve as the entry point for children referred to EarlySteps. We are responsible for initial support coordination and coordination of the eligibility determination process through the completion of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for each eligible child and their family. We are responsible for the maintenance of the electronic record in the Early Intervention Data System (EIDS) and the hard copy file.

MISSION

Dedication to providing high-quality services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families including educating the general public on evidence-based practices that yield positive outcomes for children and families.

BELIEF STATEMENT

First Steps believes increased awareness, education, and the provision of high-quality services and supports will create a dynamic inclusive environment for children with disabilities. We believe children and families deserve to be equipped with the necessary tools to enhance the child's development.

NOLearn the Signs, Act Early

The Power of People-First Language

This blog post from Parent to Parent USA discusses the importance of people-first language in referring to individuals with disabilities. It explains how this respectful language emphasizes personhood over disability and combats stereotypes and discrimination. The post delves into the historical advocacy for such language, its role in inclusive communication, and provides guidelines for its proper use.

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a family sitting on the sofa

Volunteer Support Parent Training

Join Families Helping Families of Acadiana’s Acadiana Parent Connection for this free training to learn how to support parents of newly diagnosed children and become a Volunteer Support Parent.

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Region V: 2024 Legislative Roundtable

Region V: Join Families Helping Families of SWLA, LaCAN, and the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council as we meet with Individuals with disabilities, their family members, and the professionals who support individuals with disabilities, to discuss the LaCAN 2024 Legislative Agenda with area legislators.

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OCDD Family Meet & Greet

OCDD invites families of children with disabilities to an informal meet and greet to answer questions and provide information on available services and resources.

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REGION IV MEET & GREET

An opportunity to meet REGION IV EarlySteps practitioners, referral sources, DCFS workers, and others in person, mingle, and get acquainted with who these people are beyond the emails, text messages, phone calls, and Zoom meetings!

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The following program components are included:
  • Operate a referral, orientation, and intake process.  
  • Conduct the Eligibility Determination Process. 
  • Assess family concerns, priorities, and resources. 
  • Provide administrative functions related to issuing service authorizations. 
  • Establish and maintain a recordkeeping system according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and the EarlySteps Practice Manual.
  • The First Steps Team

    First Steps is staffed with Intake Coordinators, an Early Intervention Consultant, two Data Specialists, a Referral Coordinator and an Administrative Records Clerk. These staff members are service providers who specialize in intake, eligibility, and initial IFSP procedures.