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Learn More About Writing Functional Outcomes

Write Functional Outcomes

Develop Child IFSP Outcomes 


Functional child IFSP outcomes focus on a child's use of skills that enhance their participation and learning in everyday routines. They are developed in collaboration with the family using information exchanged about family and child routines, formal and informal supports, the child's skills in routines, and family priorities. Writing high-quality, functional child IFSP outcomes helps ensure everyone on the team knows and agrees on priorities for the child's development and learning. Including families as active decision-makers and contributors during this process is an initial step towards enhancing caregiver confidence and competence to support their child's development and learning during their everyday routines. 


High-quality child IFSP outcomes should be functional, measurable, prioritized by the family, and aligned with at least one of the three Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) child outcomes areas.


A high-quality and functional child outcome includes:  

(1) child's skill,  

(2) routines in which the child will use the skill,  

(3) conditions or supports the child will need to use the skill, and  

(4) a criterion statement that tells how the family and provider will know the child has learned the skill.  


Child IFSP outcomes that include these four parts help Early Steps providers and families to identify ways to break down the IFSP outcome into smaller priority skills the child is ready to learn through embedded intervention within the child's and family's everyday routines.  

Table listing Child IFSP outcome parts

Develop Family Outcomes 


Family outcomes address priorities or skills needed to support the entire family or individual family members. They may help family members improve their enjoyment of daily routines, the ease and efficiency of routines, their health or well-being, or their interactions with their child or other family members. A description of the parts of a high-quality and functional family IFSP outcome is below. 


Some family outcomes may not directly link to a routine. These outcomes may reflect another high priority for the family, such as accessing other formal or informal resources or supports in the community, obtaining information, finding time for recreation, or providing emotional support to a family member. Supporting families with family-level outcomes not connected to routines can help family members enhance their resources, knowledge, and formal and informal support systems that contribute to their overall quality of life and enhance their capacity to support their child. 

Table listing family IFSP outcome parts
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