How can you get a reliable snapshot of how a child and family are doing?
Use ITFI to organize your impression of child and family functioning
The Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI) and Manual is a clinically and culturally sensitive tool to help family service providers evaluate strengths and vulnerabilities of young children and their families. Field-tested and flexible, ITFI offers a clear, step-by-step way to question caregivers about their child’s characteristics, activities, health, development, and family life. ITFI
- fulfills the need for an early assessment tool that is focused on environmental and developmental factors, and ready to use without extensive training
- is field tested by more than 270 graduate students and more than 60 pediatricians
- supports the early assessment attributes promoted by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): it is developmentally appropriate, skills-based, family-focused, and nondiscriminatory
Ask the caregiver the questions in the Caregiver Interview, keeping the tone conversational
Following the Developmental Map, observe the way the child moves, talks, handles objects, and interacts with you and family members
After you have completed your visits with the family, summarize your concerns in the Checklist for Evaluating Concern
Using the results of ITFI, develop a plan of action with the family, which may include additional support or referrals to other professionals
At a glance
What is it?
A straightforward yet clinically sensitive tool to help family workers determine how well a young child is developing and how well a family is managing the tasks of parenting
What age range does it target?
Infants and young children between the ages of 6 and 36 months
What are the components?
The ITFI Manual and ITFI Instrument, which is made up of the Caregiver Interview, the Developmental Map, the Checklist for Evaluating Concern, and the Plan for the Child and Family
What areas does it examine?
The Developmental Map examines the child’s behavior in four domains:
- gross and fine motor development
- social and emotional development
- language development
- coping and self-help development
The Checklist for Evaluating Concern takes a look at three areas
- home and family environment
- child health, development, and safety
- stressors in the child’s life
Who completes it?
Family service providers, including paraprofessionals, with varying levels of training
How long does it take to complete?
About 45- to 60-minute sessions for each of the 3 sections: the Caregiver Interview, the Developmental Map, and the Plan for the Child and Family
What does the instrument tell you?
Once the ITFI is completed, you have a summary of the family’s strengths and vulnerabilities, specific child symptoms and stressors, and how well the caregivers are meeting their child’s basic needs. You are then better able to collaborate with the family to construct a plan to meet its needs.