The South Carolina Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children, has partnered with the State’s Parent Training and Information Center, PRO-Parents, to develop a Facilitated Individualized Education Program. IEP facilitation is a voluntary early dispute resolution option available to parents of children with disabilities and school districts/agencies when both parties agree it would be valuable to have a neutral person-the IEP facilitator-present at an IEP meeting to assist with the IEP process. Most IEP meetings do not need the services of an IEP facilitator. Generally, an IEP facilitator is requested when parents and school district/agency personnel are experiencing difficulties communicating and reaching agreement about a student’s needs. IEP facilitation may be used for any IEP team meeting, including the initial, annual, or reevaluation process.
Practitioner Standards & Professional Development: 

Practitioner Qualifications

Facilitators represent members of the education community experienced in working with special service matters. They have received training in facilitation, conflict resolution and the IEP development process. This group of individuals includes leaders of family and parent organizations, special education mediators, community mediation groups and institutions of higher education.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities: 

Availability/Accessing Services

Requests for the service can be made through the Ombudsman at the South Carolina Department of Education.
 

SC - Instructions for Requesting Facilitated IEP

SC - Request for Facilitated IEP Meeting

SC - Facilitated IEP Meeting Participation Agreement Form

Materials/Activities

SC - FIEP Meeting Feedback Form

Evaluation & Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): 

2013 (year 5 of implementation)

      2013 (year 5 of implementation) 

109 FIEP meeting participants responded to the feedback survey as indicated below: 

Parent/Guardian – 13; Special Education Teacher – 13; Special Education Supervisor – 15; General Education Teacher – 17; School Psychologist -9; School Administrator – 10; Related Service Provider – 15; Parent Advocate/Consultant – 10; Other – 9 

99% reported the meeting to be effective and productive 

98% understood the purpose and goals of the IEP and felt they contributed to its' writing 

97% reported the facilitator kept the group focused and meeting moving forward 

95% reported their rights  and the rights of others were protected 

94% reported everyone shared responsibilities and played a role in the meeting 

93%  reported being comfortable sharing their thoughts 

89% reported the IEP decisions were clear and committed to supporting the decisions