Related Services: Minnesota's System of Inter-Agency Coordination
Related services, notably psychological and social work services, are often in short supply for students with disabilities. Many school systems resist the provision of related services on the theory that they are not educational, but medical or psychological—even though these are required under the IDEA where necessary to enable the student's free appropriate public education. Provision of related services often fails when school districts and other local agencies disagree over who should provide and pay for them.
In response to these issues, Minnesota has implemented a law that requires a statewide, interagency, coordinated service system for students with disabilities ages 3–21 who need services from the school and at least one other public agency. A state interagency committee is charged with developing and implementing the system, including identifying and removing barriers to local coordination of services, identifying funding sources and developing a standardized written plan for service provision. At the community level, school boards and county boards develop local interagency agreements regarding service provision and payment arrangements at the local level. Each eligible child has an individual interagency intervention plan (IIIP) setting out the child's programs and services and the accompanying funding sources. The contents of other service plans, such as IEPs, home care plans and medicaid plans, are to be incorporated into the IIIP.
The law is being phased in by age groups over a four-year period. As of January 1, 2001, an IIIP was required for children ages 3–5, and all students up to age 21 will be covered by 2003. It remains uncertain whether the system will lead to increased and improved mental health services for students with disabilities. Much will depend on the quality of the IIIPs, the ability and willingness of agencies to coordinate services and the adequacy of funding. As IIPs are implemented for older students and more agencies become involved, coordination will likely be more complex.
1. INTERAGENCY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES ACT, MINN. STAT. §§ 125A.023, 125A.027.
2. § 125A.023, subd. 4. The members of the state interagency committee include representatives from the departments of commerce, children, families and learning, health, human rights, human services, economic security, and corrections, as well as from the Minnesota administrators of special education, the counties and school boards.
3. § 125A.027, subd. 1(b)(8), 4.
4. §§ 125A.023, subd. 3(c), 125A.027, subd. 3.
5. Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, MINNESOTA SYSTEM OF INTERAGENCY COORDINATION POSITION PAPER, 2 (2000). § 125A.027, subd. 3.
This content was developed pursuant to cooperative agreement #H324H990004 under CFDA 84.324H between CAST and the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Special Education Programs and no endorsement by that office should be inferred.
Cite this paper as follows:
Minow, M. L. (2001). Related services: Minnesota’s system of inter-agency coordination. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [insert date] from http://aim.cast.org/learn/historyarchive/backgroundpapers/rel_srvc_minn