When your child who is under three years of age receives services from the Babies Can’t Wait program, you receive certain rights.
Your rights include:
- The right to accept or decline some or all services from BCW program
- The right to be informed of your rights
- The right to provide informed written consent before any information about your child or family is shared between service providers
- The right to provide informed written consent before services begin
- The right to have your records kept private and confidential
- The right to review and make changes to records about your child and family at any time
- The right to request, be present at and take part in meetings about your child and family
- The right to make a formal complaint about services for your child
- The right to know to whom to make a written complaint and receive an answer to that complaint within 30 days
- The right to have your family's priorities and concerns addressed
- The right to have a designated staff member to support and facilitate your services
- The right to guide the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
Parents Rights of Children With a Developmental Delay or Disability
Parents of children with a developmental delay or disability have special rights stated in the federal law called Individualized with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If your child has a delay or disability, your rights include:
The right to the following services at no cost to you:
- Developmental evaluation to determine eligibility
- Help with transition planning before your child turns three and leaves BCW
- The right to have an advocate, friend or interpreter present at any or all contacts with service providers
- The right to receive written notice before there is a change in services. The written notice should include what and why the change is being proposed or denied.
What happens when children turn three years old?
As each child reaches his or her third birthday, the family's service coordinator would assist them in identifying resources and applying for services.
RESOURCES MAY INCLUDE:
- Georgia Department of Education Division for Exceptional Students which offers special education services for children ages 3-21 in Georgia.
- Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning which offers Head Start, Child Care and Pre-K services as administered by Bright from the Start.
- Families may also be interested in involvement with local and or state Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) .
- PeachCare for Kids, free or low-cost health insurance for Georgia's children.
- Right from the Start Medicaid, Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and children under the age of 19.
- Social Security Administration for Social Security benefits information, and various Medicaid programs administered through the Georgia Department of Community Health and Georgia Healthy Families.
- Resources and funding to help meet the unmet health care needs of medically fragile children may also be available through the Foundation for Medically Fragile Children.
Transition at Age 3: Steps for Success (in Spanish)
The guide provides accurate information, guiding principles, recommended practices, and tools to clarify and support the transition process for toddlers moving from Babies Can't Wait at age 3 to preschool special education services and/or other community programs and services.
Family Focus - Early Intervention in Georgia, Focus Topic: Transition Planning
This document is a fact sheet for parents of children enrolled in the Babies Can't Wait (BCW) program and the professionals who support them. The fact sheet addresses transition planning and what occurs when a child is ready to exit the Babies Can't Wait system. The document includes articles by a parent and a provider relevant to the transition process. Additional early intervention resource information is also included.
Where can Parents and Families get more information?
In Georgia, parents and family members who would like to talk with another parent may contact Parent to Parent of Georgia, Parents Educating Parents and Professionals (PEPP, Inc.), Babies Can't Wait Parent Educators, or Department of Education Parent Mentors. Additionally, information is available for families through the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia. Nationally, the PACER Center, Family Voices, and Zero to Three provide information, education and resources for families of children with special needs.
Additional information about IDEA and national efforts supporting the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the law is available through the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center