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Using the Developmental Systems Approach, student will design a detailed early intervention plan for a family. A brief case study will be provided when the assignment begins. In designing the intervention plan, the student will present their understanding of the case in relation to their knowledge of the various theoretical frameworks that have been explored throughout the BCD program.

Through the lens of the Developmental Systems Approach [DSA], each student will explore the concepts of DSA which “emphasis family patterns of interaction that are effected by the presence of a child at biological risk or with an established disability, how those alterations in family patterns affect the provision of optimal developmental environment for the child” [Guralnick, 2019, pg 6]. Included is the role of early intervention programs in bringing about change and this is outlined in the family service plan. The students will research formal and informal community practices and services, and present them in direct connection to the service goals for the family. Each student will be expected to meet the criteria for a strength- based family focused practice, respect for diversity and cultural awareness, and demonstrate the ability to think critically when analyzing and presenting the influential factors as identified by the case study they were given.


Case Instructions



You are the Early Interventionist who has been assigned to the case. A referral for early intervention services was made at the children’s mental health agency at which you work. The family has agreed to services. Identify the community early intervention program where you are based. The agency you choose should fit the needs of the family as you have identified them.The information contained in the case file was received through the intake department but you have yet to personally meet the family. Although they have agreed to receiving services, their concerns may be different then yours. Ensure you are using a family strength-based approach for the intervention plan.


The family support plan to be designed is for a 3-month period. The family support or intervention plan is to be designed around key components of DSA and your primary system orientation theory as well as the identified needs of the family. The primary goal of EI is to support developmental outcomes for children. Service delivery models are built on the principle of providing support to families across 3 broad areas: child development goals, parent goals and family support. Ensure this model is reflected in your plan.






  1. The case study will be made available Week 10 and must be completed by Week 11.
  2. Students will review the case study and identify the areas of concern and potential risks to child development and family functioning using the DSA conceptualization for each member of the family.
  3. Students will consider theoretical perspectives for family focused service delivery and determine which theory might best help formulate a service plan for the case study family. NOTE:  Class text book and other appropriate texts are permitted.
  4. Using the case, students will complete fig 3.1 [page 50] of Guralnick for the identified child, outlining the strengths and challenges for the child and their family.
  5. The students will then design a service delivery/intervention plan for the family – based on the key concepts of the DSA and the identified areas of need for the family. The EI plan must be connected to the primary concerns of the family.
  6. Only one external referral can be included in your case recommendation. Prioritize the needs of the family to ensure the referral is the most appropriate given the presentation of the case.
  7. By the end of the time allotment, each student will submit an intervention plan for the family via SafeAssign. The paper  should be at 4 to 5 pages in length.
  8. The student must include a clear explanation as to how the plan is related to and reflects the principles of DSA.
  9. Plan should respect the cultural diversity of the family. Cultural awareness and demonstrated ability to think critically should be evident within the plan.



NOTE:  Chapters 2 and 3 of the Landy and Menna text book will be very helpful for this assignment.  Students are encouraged to read these two chapters before class and be familiar with the relevant details of all of the various theories. 


Tips Sheet Assignment # 2

Plan Ahead

Read the outline and Landy and Menna chapters prior to commencing the case study. Review the additional supporting material provide in the assignment folder.
Create a template for your document which includes the cover page, general outline and reference page.

Familiarize yourself with early intervention community services. Several of these have been presented within the course.

Create the DSA template and ensure you understand each area.

Review and summarize the DSA approach for working with families.

Review and summarize the primary theories which you believe might be helpful to you in understanding a case.

Create a template for a 3-month intervention plan.

The role of the Early Interventionist

For this case, you are the early interventionist. Once you have read the case, determine where you working as Early Interventionist. Agency options will be provided within the case.

The intervention plan is to take place with you and the family. Remember that a referral to an outside agency is a case management role and not direct service. Your 3-month plan is what YOU and the child and family will do together. The plan is typically centered around a primary goal with measurable outcomes.

Ensure the plan is connected to the DSA approach and the primary theoretical approach you have chosen.

Avoid duplication of services in potential referrals. Your role with the family should be very clear within the plan. Approach the case as the direct service provider rather than a case manager.

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