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FICC: Collaboratively Serving Young Children and Their Families
     
 
   

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the FICC?
  2. How long has the FICC existed?
  3. Does the FICC address issues of coordinated services for all children with disabilities?
  4. Who is appointed to the FICC?
  5. How are FICC members appointed?
  6. What are the requirements for federal members?
  7. What are the requirements for non-federal members?
  8. Who chairs the FICC?
  9. How often does the FICC meet?
  10. What does the FICC do?
  11. How does the FICC relate to the state Interagency Coordinating Councils (ICCs)?
  12. How can you provide feedback to us?

What is the FICC?

The Federal Interagency Coordinating Council is an advisory council designed to ensure the effective coordination of federal early intervention and preschool services and policies across federal agencies.

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How long has the FICC existed?

In 1991, the FICC was formally established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Prior to that time, interested program staff from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services met informally under a Memorandum of Understanding to discuss programmatic issues for young children with disabilities and their families.

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Does the FICC address issues of coordinated services for all children with disabilities?

No, the FICC focuses its activities on young children with or at risk of disabilities, from birth through age 5, and their families, who receive services under the IDEA.

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Who is appointed to the FICC?

The FICC is composed of:

  • parents of young children with disabilities
  • federal agency representatives
  • state lead agencies for early intervention services
  • other members representing appropriate agencies that provide, or pay for, services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and preschoolers with disabilities

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How are FICC members appointed?

The Secretary of Education makes all appointments to the FICC.  The Secretary consults with the other respective federal agencies for the appointment of federal members. 

On occasion, the Secretary also solicits recommendations for the other appointments.  

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What are the requirements for federal members?

Each federal member must have sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of the department, agency or program they represent.

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What are the requirements for non-federal members?

Each non-federal FICC member is appointed to represent an agency or specific constituency group.  Members are asked to act as a liaison between their respective constituency groups and the FICC.  They are also asked to bring issues and concerns from their constituency groups to the FICC and report back to them on the activities of the FICC.

Parent members typically represent the interest of parents of young children with or at risk of disabilities in general, not those of a specific subgroup.  Parent members work with parent groups and others to ensure that the FICC is aware of the issues raised from the parent perspective as well.

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Who chairs the FICC?

The Secretary of Education appoints the chairperson of the FICC in consultation with other appropriate federal agencies.  Traditionally, the Secretary has appointed the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services as chair of the FICC. 

The FICC bylaws allow for the FICC to recommend to the Secretary the appointment of a parent FICC member to serve as the FICC co-chair. 

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How often does the FICC meet?

The FICC meets at least quarterly.  All meetings are open to the public and are held in accessible facilities.  Traditionally, the meetings have been held in Washington, DC.

Accommodations for persons with specific communication needs are provided (i.e., sign language interpreters).

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What does the FICC do?

A primary responsibility of the FICC is to provide advice and assistance to the secretaries of Education, Health and Human Services, Defense, Interior, Agriculture and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration on matters related to serving children from birth through age 5 who are eligible for services under IDEA.

FICC conducts policy analyses of federal programs serving this group of children to determine areas of conflict, overlap, duplication, or inappropriate omission.

In addition, the FICC identifies barriers to federal interagency cooperation related to this age group of children.

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How does the FICC relate to the state Interagency Coordinating Councils (ICCs)?

There is great value to communication and information sharing between the state interagency coordinating councils and the FICC.  Although the statute does not establish a specific relationship between the FICC and the state ICCs, in the past, one of the ICC chairs has typically been appointed to serve on the FICC.  The participation of an ICC chair on the FICC provides additional opportunities to identify successful practices in the field of early childhood services, as well as challenges to implementation of coordinated services across multiple service agencies.

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How can you provide feedback to us?

If you have comments about the content of the FICC website, please contact the Executive Director.  Let us know what content on this site (or links) is helpful or what additional content you think would be useful.  Also, let us know what information is duplicative or not helpful.

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