Manual for the Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI)
This helpful manual guides family service providers step-by-step through the Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI), a clinically and culturally sensitive tool for evaluating the strengths and vulnerabilities of children from 6 months to 3 years and their families. The manual includes:
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This manual's practical and thorough instructions show professionals how to tailor the ITFI to the needs of their individual programs and the families they serve.
- an overview of the four ITFI components
- detailed instructions on how to prepare for and complete each part of the ITFI
- tips on handling sensitive issues
- guidelines to determine need for further referrals
- four case studies that demonstrate how to use the ITFI
- appendixes of picture cards and field-testing information
Learn about the ITFI system today.
Review by: J. Lally, Director, Center for Child & Family Studies, WestEd
"This instrument is a jewel ... It provides clear and straightforward guidance to help people from many different service disciplines accurately assess child and family need."
Review by: T. Brazelton, pediatrician, noted author, and Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School
"This is a wonderful instrument, adapted to clinical use ... It values the child's excitement in performance. Each assessment becomes an opportunity for sharing the child's behavior and excitement. This ITFI brings out the fun and excitement that a test can bring—to both child and parent."
About the Authors
- Preparing to Visit the Family
- Conducting the Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI)
- Awareness of Cultural Differences
- Completing the Caregiver Interview
Using the Developmental Map
- Part 1: Home and Family Life
- Part 2: Child Health and Safety
- Part 3: Family Issues and Concerns
Completing the Checklist for Evaluating Concern
- Gross and Fine Motor Development
- Social and Emotional Development
- Language Development
- Coping and Self-Help Development
- Developmental Map Summary Sheet
Arriving at a Plan for the Child and Family
Appendix A: Picture Cards
- Home and Family Environment
- Child Health, Development, and Safety
- Stressors in the Child's Life
- Checklist for Evaluating Concern Summary Sheet
Appendix B: Field Testing
Excerpted from Chapter 1 of the Manual of the Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI)
By Nancy H. Apfel, Ed.M., & Sally Provence, M.D.
©2001. Brookes Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
The ITFI is a relatively short survey of family and child functioning that can be used by family services, child care, and health care providers. It was designed with home visitors in mind but can be used by other individuals in different environments, such as by a child care worker in a child care center or by a nurse, a doctor, a psychologist, or another professional in a medical, community service, or mental health center. Such family services providers can use the ITFI in developing a collaborative plan with caregivers on how to serve the children and their families. In addition, when service providers are called on to determine whether a family or a child needs further in-depth evaluation by a doctor, psychologist, or other professional, this instrument can be helpful in making such a decision.
It is expected that this instrument will supplement other services provided by the agency or individual, increasing the scope of services. To clarify, once the ITFI is completed, the practitioner has 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. With information organized in such a way, the types of services that the family and child may need are clearer. The agency is then better able to collaborate with the family to construct a plan to meet its needs.
It would be unusual for one agency or individual to be able to provide all the services that a typical family at risk might require. For example, a family may need help connecting with a women and children's crisis center, a child psychologist, a pediatrician, a city housing authority, and a community legal aid office. In working with families to develop support plans, an agency could help families look for services already in existence in the community to supplement the agency's own services. Building such connections could enhance the services of a particular agency while also avoiding duplication of services. The ITFI could also inspire the development of new services in an agency, such as support groups or workshops for individuals with specific needs, such as teenage mothers or grandparents
The ITFI is not intended to be a definitive measure of whether a child or family should receive services or further evaluation but rather to be a tool to organize the service provider's impressions of family and child needs.
There are four sections to the ITFI:
Several preparation sessions are strongly recommended as orientation and instruction for the appropriate use of the ITFI.
- The Caregiver Interview, divided into three parts—Home and Family Life, Child Health and Safety, and Family Issues and Concerns—to be given in one or more sessions with the parent(s) or primary caregiver(s)
- The Developmental Map, a series of observations of spontaneous and elicited behavior of the infant-toddler in four domains—Gross and Fine Motor Development, Social and Emotional Development, Language Development, and Coping and Self-Help Development—plus a Summary Sheet Manual for the Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument (ITFI)
- The Checklist for Evaluating Concern, divided into three parts—Home and Family Environment; Child Health, Development, and Safety; and Stressors in the Child's Life—that permit the interviewer to organize his or her impressions and concerns about the family and the child, plus a Summary Sheet
- The Plan for the Child and Family, next steps to be taken, if necessary