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Family Education & Support

All children need support to be as healthy, happy, productive and independent as they can be. This support comes mostly from a child's family. Kids with developmental delays and disabilities are no exception.


What is Family Education & Support?

Family Education & Support is a Montana program that pairs professionals in development, education, behavior, social work or psychology with families whose children or teens have developmental delays. These experts are called Family Support Specialists (FSS). An FSS provides coaching, information, strategies, and resources to strengthen the whole family for the good of the child..

The Child Development Center partners with Montana's Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP) to provide Family Education & Support free of charge.

I have questions about my child's development – what should I do?

If you have any questions or concerns about how your child is learning, acting or growing, we are here to help. Even if you are unsure, there is no reason to wait and see. Start by contacting us to make a referral today. If your child qualifies for our services, Family Education & Support is FREE.Every child is unique, but this *checklist may help you monitor typical milestones of healthy development up to age five.*This checklist should not replace a professional evaluation.

Will we qualify for Family Education & Support?

This program could benefit your family if you think your child might be showing delays in development, or if s/he has a developmental disability. Children and teens from age three up until high school graduation can qualify for Family Education & Support services in two ways:

To find out if your child or teen will qualify, please make a referral. Our caring and expert team will talk with you about your options.

Please note: We currently have a moderate waiting list for Family Education & Support services. The sooner you work with us to add your child to the waitlist, the better. In the meantime, we can guide you to other community resources.


How will Family Education & Support help my child?

A Family Support Specialist will work closely with you to implement an Individualized Family Services Plan, or IFSP. The goals of the plan are designed to fit in with your family’s everyday routines, and are based on your child’s developmental needs. Common plan goals relate to communication, behavior, school, social skills, and self-help (toileting, eating, sleeping) or independent living (job skills, cooking, etc.). Social opportunities like summer camps, cooking classes, and other group learning activities are also offered.You will periodically meet with your Family Support Specialist to carry out activities related to the IFSP. You can schedule visits in your home or elsewhere in your community. Together we will build on your family’s strengths to give your child the boost she needs!

For more information, send a message to our Family Education & Support program or call us at one of our two locations in western Montana.