dccp logoDynamic Community Connections Project: A Process Model for Enhancing Public Awareness & Child Find in Rural Areas


Public Awareness and Child Find are the entry way for families to access Infant and Toddler Program services.  The Federal Government realized this when designing the Part C Early Intervention (EI) program.  Federal Regulations require each state to implement a Public Awareness Program and a Comprehensive Child Find System.

What is a Public Awareness Program?
A public awareness program should consist of outreach activities by the State and early intervention agencies that focus on the early identification of children who are eligible to receive early intervention services.  The purpose of the public awareness program is to inform the general public about the availability and importance of early intervention services, who is eligible, and how to access the services.  Special attention to informing the primary referral sources is mandated.  Primary referral sources are those professionals or agencies that come into direct contact with young children and their families on a regular basis, such as hospitals, physicians, day care programs, local educational agencies, public health facilities, other social service agencies, and other health care providers.  The Federal Regulations note that an effective public awareness program:

  1. Provides a continuous, ongoing effort that is in effect throughout the State, including rural areas;
  2. Provides for the involvement of, and communication with, major organizations throughout the State that have a direct interest in Part C EI, including public agencies at the State and local level, private providers, professional associations, parent groups, advocate associations, and other organizations;
  3. Has coverage broad enough to reach the general public, including those who have disabilities; and
  4. Includes a variety of methods for informing the public about the program. (Note 1 Section......)

What is Child Find?
The Child find system is a set of procedures and policies that ensure that all infants and toddlers in the State who are eligible for services are identified, located, and evaluated and are receiving needed early intervention services.  The child find system must include procedures for use by primary referral sources for referring a child to the appropriate public agency within the system for evaluation and assessment, in a timely manner.

The child find system is to be coordinated with all other major efforts, to locate and identify children, conducted by other State agencies responsible for administering the various education, health, relevant social service programs, and tribes and tribal organizations that receive payments.

The Dynamic Community Connections Project (DCCP) is a demonstration model funded by a grant through the Department of Education.  For more informtion regarding this project go to the About DCCP page.

For questions regarding this webpage or project contact:

Jillian Jurica
(406) 243-2390

Ted Maloney
(406) 243-2897

Rural Institute Link
Rural Institute

University Of Montana Link OSEP Link
Teaching Research, Western Oregon University Link