Issue Clarification 04-904-040-A

First Steps:
Issue Clarification

Number: 04-904-040-A

Date: September 16, 2004
(Effective Date October 1, 2004)

Topic: Mandatory Cluster Forums (previously named Annual Provider Forums)

Relevant Sections of the Manual: Sections 4 and 5

Audience: First Steps Providers

Issue for Clarification:
The Bureau of Child Development (BCD) has taken into consideration the comments made about the Annual Provider Forums and have changed the structure of the Forums beginning October 1, 2004 (please note new name of Mandatory Cluster Forum). This clarification is an addendum to the First Steps Personnel Standards and removes the requirements for Providers to attend the two (2) Annual Provider Forums previously required (Issue Clarification 04-904-040).

Providers who provide services in the following areas need to attend at least one (1) Mandatory Cluster Forum annually and complete a quarterly (4) Training Newsletter:

  • Audiology
  • Developmental Therapy (Special Instruction)
  • Specialized Individual and Family Counseling / Psychological Services
  • Nursing Services
  • Nutrition Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Social Work Services
  • Speech / Language Pathology
  • Visions Services
  • Other early intervention service (OEIS) providers who provide direct service to the eligible family and/or child.

Services in the following areas do not need to attend a Mandatory Cluster Forum or complete a quarterly (4) Training Newsletter, unless they voluntarily wish to do so:

  • Physicians
  • Transportation Providers
  • Interpreters
  • Assistive Technology Vendors

Effective October 1, 2004 the indicated providers will be required to submit a certification of attendance for a Mandatory Cluster Forum and verification that they have completed the Training Newsletters with their Credentialing application. Providers who do not submit their certificate of attendance and Training Newsletter's verification will not meet Credentialing requirements and therefore will not obtain a First Steps Early Intervention Credential. Providers who do not attend a Mandatory Cluster Forum and complete all quarterly (4) Training Newsletters will be considered to be in violation of their provider agreement.