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Welcome to the Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence

 

The major goal of TRACE was to identify and promote the use of evidence-based practices and models for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays or disabilities who are eligible for early intervention or preschool special education.

This information is designed specifically for early childhood intervention practitioners and other professionals who have responsibility for, and engage in, child find, referral, early identification, or eligibility determination activities and practices. The TRACE Web site includes materials and products for early childhood personnel working in Part C Early Intervention Programs and Part B(619) Preschool Special Education Programs authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

TRACE was a major initiative of the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute. TRACE was a collaboration among the Puckett Institute (Asheville and Morganton, NC), the UCLID Center and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), the Institute for Family-Centered Care (Bethesda, MD), the Family, Infant and Preschool Program (Morganton, NC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (Chicago, IL), and the University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington, CT).


 

TRACE Framework

The major focus of TRACE was to have a better understanding of the methods and procedures that can be used by state and local early intervention and preschool special education programs for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices.

This is accomplished by conducting research syntheses of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices and models; conducting extant database, process, and outcome studies of these practices and models; preparing practice guides and Tool Kits for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination; technical assistance to states and local programs; and the dissemination of information about evidence-based practices and models.

Achievement of the TRACE goal is accomplished using a model and set of operationally defined practices that make clear and explicit the intended and expected benefits of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices.


TRACE used the following operational definitions of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices for guiding the conduct of Center activities. The definitions make explicit the intent of each kind of practice in order to focus attention on their purposes, functions, characteristics, and desired outcomes. Although the same activity (e.g., outreach to hospitals) can serve different purposes (e.g., child find & referral), research indicates that the ways in which an activity is conceptualized and implemented matters in terms of its effect and outcome. Our Tracelines categorization paper includes a detailed description and explanation of each TRACE practice. Our Tracelines classification paper includes a list of specific types of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices that constitute the focus of TRACE research syntheses and other activities.

Child find means the methods and procedures used by Part C or Part B(619) program personnel to locate infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are in need of, or potentially in need of, early intervention or preschool special education programs operated as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term refers to the efforts and activities of Part C and Part B(619) personnel to locate and identify and promote referrals to early intervention or preschool special education programs. Child find activities include a variety of public awareness activities, outreach programs, screening programs, collaborative activities, and high-risk tracking programs.

Referral means the procedures or steps taken by an individual or group on behalf of an infant, toddler or preschooler to obtain the opinion, supports, or services of another individual or group. Referral is used specifically by TRACE to mean practices that can be used to influence the decision-making processes used by non Part C/Part B(619) professionals to recommend or suggest child participation in early intervention or preschool special education, and the decisions made by parents to seek out early childhood intervention program staff opinion or advice.

Early identification refers to different methods, procedures, and practices used to determine the presence of an identified disability or delay or a condition that places a child at risk for a developmental delay or poor outcome. Early identification includes, but is not limited to, both traditional and nontraditional screening, assessment, evaluation, and teaming models and practices used to establish the presence of a disability, developmental delay, or risk condition.

Eligibility means the procedures and criteria used to determine if a child meets the definitions established by states and jurisdictions for Part C or Part B(619) program enrollment. The information obtained from early identification or other procedures (e.g., informed clinical opinion) are the sources of evidence used for making an eligibility determination against established state criteria. Eligibility determination is a Part C/Part B(619) program-specific activity that links child find, referrals, and early identification with enrollment of children in early intervention or preschool special education.

 

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Products

 

 

TRACELINES Tracelines are Web-based articles about the conceptual and operational frameworks for guiding the conduct of TRACE activities. These electronic journal articles also include research findings from TRACE studies. Our Web-based journal articles present information on TRACE related practices, and provide a forum for advanced understanding of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices.    
 

Volume 1 (2004)

   
Snapshots Snapshots include findings from studies and profiles and analyses of stateand local early intervention and preschool special education child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination data and practices, and findings from TRACE studies and investigations.    

 


 

 

Volume 1 (2004)

Volume 2 (2006)

Volume 3 (2007)

   
Milemarkers Milemarkers are bibliographies of published papers and reports that are especially useful for understanding the purposes and functions of child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices. Milemarkers include sources of information from both early intervention and preschool special education as well as other fields of inquiry (e.g., social marketing) that inform the development and conduct of TRACE activities.    
 

 

Volume 1 (2004)

Volume 2 (2006)

   
Cornerstone Cornerstones are practice-based research syntheses on topics related to child find, early identification, referral, and eligibility determination. These syntheses involve systematic analysis and integration of small bodies of research that have investigated the same or similar practices leading to the same or similar outcomes. The preparation of the Cornerstones is done in a manner that establishes the way in which the particular characteristics or components of practices and models are related to specific outcomes.    
 

Volume 4 (2009)

Volume 3 (2007)

Volume 2 (2006)

Volume 1 (2005)

   
Endpoints Endpoints are nontechnical summaries of practice-based research syntheses. Endpoints describe the practice that constituted the focus of analysis and inform the reader about the extent to which available research evidence supports the use of the practice. These summaries, written in a user-friendly, newspaper article format, are designed for non-researchers, including practitioners and parents.    
 

 

Volume 1 (2005)

Volume 2 (2006)

   
Practice Guides TRACE Practice Guides include descriptions of methods and procedures for implementing evidence-based child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination practices.
 


Volume 1 (2006)




Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
Sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs,