Early Intervention Agency Star Rating Scale Evaluation

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Philadelphia Infant Toddler Early Intervention





Organization Overview:

In Philadelphia, Infant Toddler Early Intervention (ITEI) is administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). ITEI serves children and their families who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays and disabilities between the ages of birth to 3. Early Intervention collaborates with families to help them enhance their child’s development using evidence-based interventions, strategies and adaptations and connects them with available resources. Annually, ITEI serves over 8,000 young children and their families and uses a centralized referral system to ensure that children and families are connected to needed services and support. ITEI coordinates with forty Agencies in the Greater Philadelphia area to meet the specific needs of each family.

Project Name:

Early Intervention Agency Star Rating Scale Evaluation
Project Type: 
Program Evaluation

Project Overview:

The Agencies that provide Early Intervention services to children and their families must meet minimum standards of compliance and quality to receive referrals from the Philadelphia Infant Toddler Early Intervention (ITEI) centralized referral system. An Agency Star Rating Scale is used to evaluate each Agency. Agencies are given an Overall Star Rating Score based on categories that address compliance and reflect quality implementation of ITEI service and supports and follow ITEI policies.

The purpose of the project to be completed by the Fels MPA student is to evaluate this rating scale and its positive impacton the quality of services provided to children and families, without destabilizing the business flow of the Agencies. Through this project, the student will become familiar with the Philadelphia Infant Toddler Early Intervention system as well as Pennsylvania state-wide policies and procedures regarding Early Intervention. In addition to the final report that summarizes the findings and recommendations of the evaluation, the student will have the opportunity to give immediate applicable feedback and data analysis. This will allow ITEI to inform the performance management of the Agencies and improve the quality of Infant Toddler Early Intervention in Philadelphia.

Key questions that we aim to answer through this project include:

  1. Are the thresholds set for certain categories in the Agency Rating Scale appropriate, and do these thresholds give us the information we need to effectively evaluate Agencies?
  2. If an Agency does not meet minimum standards according to the Agency Star Rating Scale, how long should that agency’s access to referrals be reduced to effectively address concerns with the agency while mitigating unnecessary disruption to their business?
  3. How can the Agency Star Rating System promote high quality services without inducing Agencies to take shortcuts to meet minimum standards?

A successful project will result in:

  • An updated Agency Star Rating Scale including appropriate thresholds founded in data analysis and extensive research.
  • An understanding of the Agency Star Rating Scale and its categories and thresholds among necessary leaders and administrators of the Agencies.
  • A written report evaluating the rating scale including a description of the student’s findings, data analysis, feedback, and justifications for updated thresholds.



Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326