Indian Children’s Program

January 10, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

Landscape of the desert west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, taken in the Indian Children's Program service area.

The Indian Children’s Program (ICP) has provided services to children with disabilities since 1990. It is designed to build and strengthen the capacity of the family and community to more effectively support the needs of children with disabilities.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities works with a consortium to provide consultation and technical assistance. It serves children, families, and agencies on the Navajo, Hopi, and multi Pueblo reservations in the four corners area.

The ICP model features the following characteristics:

A baby in traditional clothes and a Calvin Klein shirt plays on a blanket

Services are determined by the child’s need – where necessary, ICP interdisciplinary teams provide diagnostic assessments. Primary emphasis is on follow-up services rather than diagnosis and evaluation.

Community-based Services – parents and families choose where they want their child to be  served and where they want to receive services.

Follow-up services – follow-up focuses on providing resources and supports to build  the capacity of the family including advocacy information, individual service plans, technical assistance, and cross agency referrals.

Cultural relevance – services are culturally  appropriate and respect the dignity of the  individual, the family, and their culture.

Filling gaps in existing services–ICP services are selected to fill gaps in the existing service system and address individual needs.

Evolution of Program Focus
During its twenty year history, the Indian Children’s Program has refined its approach and the way services are provided to meet the evolving needs of individuals, families, and communities.

The shifts in focus have gone from providing maintenance and care to independence; from providing services to support; from running government-operated programs to using private providers and encouraging self advocacy; from trying to change the individual to modifying the environment. The services are to be initiated and managed by the family, and the goal is to foster independence and choice.

Photo of a Native American family. The baby is in a cradle board.

Note: This is the eighth in a series of blog posts summarizing presentations made by CPD staff members in late October and early November. They attended the 2010 conference for the Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities. Those of you who can stop by our building can check out the research posters in the hallway leading to the CPD’s southwest door.

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