PCA Frequently Asked Questions

Who chooses the "teams"? Are the teams individual to each unique family? Are ALL providers included in the teams?

All practitioners meeting your state's highest qualified standards for personnel and who are committed to using evidence-based practices and working on a team will have a place in this type of an approach. Teams are typically formed to serve geographical regions. The size of the area varies depending on the number of families and availability of practitioners. A team must minimally consist of a service coordinator, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, and someone representing early childhood special education. Teams are not formed to support each family, but rather each family receives a team. In this way, teams have the experience of working together across families and over time, rather than changing for every family.

In a primary coach approach to teaming does one person usually goes out to the home, but the team meets together once per week?

Yes. A given team will meet (who also serve a number of the same children), but not discuss every child every week. Rather, a practitioner or service coordinator places his or her name on the agenda to request coaching from other team members related to a question that he/she or a particular family may have in order to obtain input from the other team members.

Are teams set up geographically and are they stable teams?

Yes, and we're finding that the practitioners REALLY, REALLY like it. Service coordinators love it because they are not chasing down practitioners and are actually coordinating resources, rather than simply filling out forms.

What do you do about practitioners who are so specialized, and they can't be in all areas (i.e. hearing)?

Typically, educators of children who are deaf and hearing impaired as well as vision consultants need to be a member of more than one team. As a known resource to an area, they would alternate meeting attendance from week to week, and if either the educator/consultant or other team members needed to address a question or issue, that would be a priority in terms of setting the meeting agenda. These individuals may also be the primary coach for those families.

How many families served by a team?

Because of variances in travel time as well as the frequency and intensity of supports, an exact or recommended number is difficult to define. We recommend considering percent of time. In this way, you would consider the amount of time the person gives to the early intervention program per week. Of that time, approximately 80% should be either with families or driving between visits. The other 20% is spent in team meetings and completing necessary paperwork. We estimate that a team of four practitioners and one service coordinator working full time could easily support a minimum of 60 families.

Would an area have 2-3 teams for the family to choose from?

The number of teams using a primary coach approach to teaming will vary within a given area depending on the number of children and families, as well as the number of practitioners available.