Policy Implications for Early Intervention in Maine: A Three-Year Evaluation of Project Reach ME

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A collaborative training initiative for promoting best practices in early intervention was evaluated as part of a statewide outreach grant funded by the Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities, U.S. Department of Education and conducted by the Maine Bureau of Children with Special Needs. Project Reach ME developed and conducted field-based training in early intervention practices using interactive television broadcasts to introduce proven family focused programming strategies and team assessment approaches as well as a cadre of in-state practitioners to deliver on-site follow-up best practice early intervention training. The evaluation studied the underlying assumptions of the program model and its overall implementation through field observations, individual and group interviews, and document review. Mailed surveys, pre- and post-assessments, and informal reporting also provided data. Due to major modifications in the early intervention system in Maine, the project's results were summarized in a white paper to identify policy implications and raise questions about areas that will influence the availability of training in the future. The evaluation reveals mostly positive findings about the program. The examination of training implementation helps define a policy agenda for advancing best practices in Maine's early intervention system.


ERIC Number: ED355240 Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association (Seattle, WA, November 5-7, 1992).