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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Child Find

child find icon Child Find Program is provided by Baltimore City Public Schools to identify, locate, and evaluate, all children with disabilities, from birth through twenty-one years of age, who are in need of early intervention or special education and related services. The purpose is to locate these children so that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can be made available. The Child Find process is mandated by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and in the state regulations that govern Maryland’s early intervention and special education services. Child Find referrals are made by calling 443-984-1011.

Special needs may be in the areas of:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Health
  • Behavior

Or involve skills in:

  • Fine or gross motor
  • Speech/Language
  • Cognitive or learning
  • Social and emotional
  • Adaptive or self help

Let’s Look at the Process

  • It begins with reviewing and screening of information gathered about the child.
  • From the findings of the information gathered, assessment(s) will be ordered if the child is suspected of having a disability.
  • When the results indicate that the child has a disability, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed and than special education services will be provided.

Referring a Child for a Child Find Evaluation

  • Most referrals are made directly by a child’s parent.
  • An advocate or attorney representing a parent that is accompanied by a release signed by a parent authorizing the person to act on behalf of the parent can make a referral.
  • Referrals can be made by Department of Social Services staff, Department of Juvenile Services or any other state agency.


City Schools has a specific Child Find Unit that is responsible for Child Find referrals. It accepts referrals for:

  • Children ages 3 through age twenty-one who are not enrolled in school.
  • Children age 3 through twenty-one who are enrolled in public, private and parochial schools.
  • Children age 3 through 4 with an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) under the Family Choice option who are transitioning to an Individual Educational Plan (IEP).

A parent who contacts the Child Find Unit regarding a child who attends City Schools is encouraged to contact the Principal or IEP chairperson at the local school where the child attends to initiate a Child Find referral.

The Child Find Unit will assist parents who have children coming from other school districts that have Individual Educational Plans or need assistance in referring a child for special education services. The program will address and assist families impacted by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). Packets are available to introduce BRAC families to the City Schools Child Find by outlining the referral process to special education and providing information regarding the range of special education and related services available to children with disabilities.

For more information about the Child Find Program or to make a referral please call 443-984-1011. Children in the birth to three age range may be referred to the Infants/ Toddlers Program at 410-396-1666.

Child Find Brochure

Additional Resources:

www.mdecegatewau/ org.-Resources and information for families and providers of children with disabilities age birth through five –Find IEP related resources. – National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center -Interstate compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children – Council for Exceptional Children