The first audit completed under new State Auditor Susan Montee is a report on the First Steps program – the early intervention system for infants and toddlers with special needs. First Steps is designed for children, birth to age three, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions associated with developmental disabilities. Montee says that while First Steps is a needed program and a wonderful program, its services are not available to all Missouri children who could use those services. The audit recommends an increase in funding for First Steps. It is felt that by hiking funding some of the children who are not receiving needed services will be able to obtain those services. Additionally, the audit raises concerns over the eligibility criteria for First Steps, pointing out Missouri is one of only three states which require a minimum of a 50-percent delay in one developmental area to be eligible for early intervention services. All other states have much broader eligibility criteria.
Related web sites:
First Steps Audit