The Louisiana Statewide Interagency Coordinating Council (LA-SICC) works in collaboration with the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, in an advisory capacity, to design and oversee the implementation of a family-centered, community-based, comprehensive, interagency system for infants and toddlers (birth through two years of age) who are eligible for Early Steps and their families. Our goal is to advise and assist the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), as the Lead Agency, in the monitoring and evaluation of this system to ensure that families are supported and the potential of each child is maximized.
The legislation for infants and toddlers with special needs and their families, Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), calls for a comprehensive system of coordinated early intervention services. In Louisiana, this system is called Early Steps: Louisiana’s Early Intervention System. Early Steps is an interagency effort administered through LDH in conjunction with LA-SICC.
Experience has shown that families with young children with special needs frequently require a range of services which cannot be provided entirely by a single agency. Intervening with coordinated health, social, and educational services during the first three years of life increases developmental and educational gains for the child, improves family function, and reduces the costs of special care later in life.
In drafting the original legislation, Congress recognized the need for a group outside of the Lead Agency to “advise and assist” in the development of this comprehensive system of coordinated early intervention services. LA-SICC is required by statute to be appointed by the Governor and is an important participant in the development and implementation of such a system.
LA-SICC is an independent board that operates within the Office of the Governor.
Our purpose is to advise and assist LDH in the performance of its responsibilities as the Lead Agency, particularly in regard to the following:
LA-SICC also advises and assists LDH in the preparation of applications, the transition of infants and toddlers to preschool or other appropriate services, and the preparation and submission of an annual report to the governor. We also update federal authorities on the status of Early Steps: Louisiana’s Early Intervention System.
Office of the Governor of Louisiana
1201 N. 3rd Street