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FICC: Collaboratively Serving Young Children and Their Families

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About the FICC

Recognizing the interagency nature of services for young children with disabilities and their families, Congress established a Federal Interagency Coordinating Council (FICC) in 1991 in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( IDEAExit FICC: Disclaimer ) statute. Section 644 of IDEA details the requirements for the FICC. The FICC bylaws provide a framework for conducting its business.

The FICC is an advising body to cabinet secretaries from the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior, as well as to the commissioner of the Social Security Administration. It makes recommendations to the federal agencies working to improve opportunities to children with disabilities, including suggestions to eliminate barriers to interagency programs. The FICC serves as the mechanism to facilitate coordination of federal resources to ensure that young children (birth to age 5) with, or at risk for, disabilities and their families get the early intervention and preschool services and supports that they need.

In fulfilling its vision and mission and operating within the guiding principles, the FICC meets regularly to identify gaps in programs and services; ensure the provision and support to young children and their families; ensure coordination of technical assistance activities across agencies; and identify barriers to cross agency coordination of services.

The FICC is charged with reducing duplication of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and preschool services for children with disabilities by federal, state and local agencies. The FICC also works to coordinate various federal early intervention and preschool programs. It also conducts policy analyses relevant to services for young children with disabilities and their families.

The FICC facilitates federal, state and local activities related to serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, from birth through age 5, who receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as other federally-funded programs such as health care, child care, and social services. In addition, in order to support coordination efforts among states, the FICC advises on the coordination of technical assistance and dissemination of information about promising practices and effective program coordination strategies.

The FICC meets quarterly in Washington, D.C. Meetings are open and accessible to the public. Its membership includes representatives from:
  • 17 program offices across six federal agencies;
  • State programs;
  • Parents of children with disabilities; and
  • Others, as deemed necessary by the Secretary of Education.

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This page last modified on 6-25-2002 (jca)