What is First Steps?
First Steps offers coordinated services and assistance to young children with special needs and their families. First Steps is designed for children, birth to age 3, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities.
Families can contact their county First Steps office for more information by calling toll free:
The First Steps Goal is the same as yours: To make sure that families have the necessary supports, services, and resources that they need to raise healthy, happy and successful children. First Steps works with Missouri families of children age birth to three by ensuring that coordinated services are provided as conveniently as possible. Participation in First Steps is voluntary and is intended to help families of children with disabilities:
- Understand their child's special needs
- Obtain the help they desire to deal with situations that could interfere with their child's growth and development.
- Provide the best conditions for their child's growth and development.
For complete information about First Steps, refer to the state regulations under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Through these regulations, which include detailed information about the rights of children and parents who participate in First Steps, Missouri receives federal funding to support the First Steps program. The regulations also define confidentiality provisions, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), that apply to First Steps.