The following services are available to our eligible children as appropriate:


  • (OT) Occupational Therapy
  • (PT) Physical Therapy
  • (SLP) Speech Language Therapy
  • Audiology
  • Nutrition Services
  • Developmental Therapy (Special Instruction)
  • Social Work Services Family Education
  • Vision Services
  • Nursing Services (not ongoing home care services)
  • Diagnostic Medical Services
  • Psychological Services
  • Assistive Technology



State wide, First Steps counted an aggregate total 19,252 infants and toddlers who received services through the system from January 1, 2005 through Dec 31, 2005. The state-wide average cost per child was $2,883.98. The average age at referral was 14.6 months.

Northwest Indiana First Steps accounted for 2,101 of the children served in the state during the above time frame. The Northwest Cluster's average cost per child was $2,796.04 and the average age at referral was 14.3 months.


A referral to First Steps can be made by anyone (parents, healthcare provider, social service agency) who suspects a child may need extra support to reach his/her full potential. The Lake County First Steps System Point of Entry (SPOE) can be contacted by phone, fax or mail. To contact us by phone just call (219) 662-7790.

An Intake Coordinator will contact the family to determine if they are interested (the program is voluntary) and which assessments and evaluations are wanted/needed. The Intake Coordinator helps arrange all evaluation appointments and secures any needed medical records. Once the evaluations have been completed, a team meeting is held to determine the child's eligibility based on state criteria. If the child is eligible, the Intake Coordinator will schedule an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting. If the child is not eligible, the Intake Coordinator will provide the family information on growth and development and offer to recontact the family in three to six months.


A multidisciplinary team, including the child's family (foster parent or surrogate parent), determines the needs of the child and the concerns of the family, and then designs an IFSP to meet those needs. The primary medical care provider reviews and signs the IFSP. The IFSP serves as the child's plan of care. It is reviewed every six months and reevaluated every year.


The family will have a Service Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating services with all of the various people and agencies who will provide services for the eligible child and family, and minimizes the "red tape", thereby saving family time, energy and needless expense. The Service Coordinator meets with the family at least every three months and maintains contact by phone as needed.


Before a child turns three, a transition plan must be developed to transition the child into preschool special education or to ensure other needed services are in place after the child turns three years of age. The Service Coordinator will work with the family to design and develop a transition plan that is appropriate to meet the needs of the child and family.
Home | Services | Events | Contact us | Matrix | LPCC | Parents | Providers | Asst. Technology | Transition | Early Childhood Conference