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Increasing Knowledge about Evidence Based Practices

Early Identification and Referral

Increasing Knowledge about Evidence Based Practices

Early Identification and Referral

This page was last updated on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm


It is important that action steps developed to initiate, implement or scale up early identification efforts be informed by current research. TRACE (Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence) has conducted and synthesized research to create materials to promote the use of evidence-based practices and models for improving early identification of young children with disabilities. Reviewing these practices as you develop your action plan can provide information useful in determining the most effective strategies for your situation.

The article Improving Outreach to Primary Referral Sources describes four key evidence-based practices recommended by NCDB's Early Identification & Referral TA Team. 

Other key findings are summarized below:  

1. Repeated visits to primary referral sources are likely to be more successful than one-time contacts.

2. Tailoring printed materials can improve results.

3. Providing regular feedback to primary referral sources is more likely to result in sustained referrals.

4. Research syntheses show that passive distribution of materials is not as effective as face-to-face interactions (Dunst & Hamby, 2006).

5. The practice of academic detailing, when fully implemented, increases the number of referrals (Dunst, Trivette, Shelden and Rush, 2006).

Additional materials related to improving Child Find, Identification and Referral are available on the TRACE website if you are interested in digging deeper. 

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