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Developing Your Child’s Individual Service Plan

(#5 of 8 in Series)

Reviewed June 2024

The Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Program provides funding and support for families who have children with disabilities, who are Medicaid eligible, so they can care for their children at home and participate in their communities. This fact sheet explains how your child’s Individual Services Plan is developed.

Creating an Individual Service Plan (ISP)

Once you’ve applied to the CLTS Program, your child is found eligible, and they are enrolled, your family will work with a Support and Service Coordinator (SSC) to create an ISP.

Your child’s ISP is a guide of the services and supports needed for your family to reach your child’s goals. The plan also identifies things that the CLTS Program may pay for and programs or services the SSC has identified for your child participate in over the next year.

Tip for Families 

Your child’s ISP will be reviewed and updated annually. However, the plan can be revisited at any time at the request of the family, especially if anything has changed.


Your Input Matters

A family’s input is critical in creating the ISP. Your ideas, suggestions and point of view are necessary in identifying and prioritizing the benefits your child and family need most.

Using the Deciding Together Guide in the ISP Discussion

Your child’s ISP is based on your child’s long-term and short-term needs and goals. Think about your child’s best life and let that be a guide talking through an ISP—What would help your child enjoy activities, build relationships and learn new skills? See the Deciding Together Guide and Deciding Together: What It Is and What It Isn’t to better understand this process.



Your Child’s Voice is IMPORTANT

As much as possible, your child should be part of these discussions. Encourage them to offer their input on the goals they want over the next year.  You can offer them some examples or choices, so their voice is reflected in the ISP. As your child gets older, they can be more involved in this process. This is a great opportunity to model self-advocy and having more control over the programs and services that impact their life. To learn more about teaching choice-making and independence, see our Early Choices Matter resources including videos, tips sheets and worksheets for families.



Parental Payment Fee and Your Child’s Plan

A Parental Payment is a fee that is based on your family’s income and the CLTS-funded services included on your child’s ISP. Families may receive a bill from the county waiver agency for participating in the CLTS Program. The Parental Payment is usually a percentage of the total cost of the ISP. However, there are limits to this fee. Your child’s SSC can answer questions about Parental Payment or you can learn more at dhs.wisconsin.gov/clts/waiver-costs.htm.



Family Responsibility for the Cost of Services and Supports

While there are limited funds and resources for any program, your role as a parent/guardian is to focus on goals and outcomes for your child. As you work with the SSC, you can review all items and services that have been identified, and then prioritize these needs. Think about what is most important for this year, and what you might consider including in the plan in future years.



Focus on Goals Rather Than Specific Items or Services

As you create your child’s ISP, it’s important to think about goals or outcomes first, and then think broadly and creatively about how to meet them, rather than focusing on a specific item or service. For example, focus on the problem you’re facing, like keeping your child from leaving your yard, and less on a specific requested item, like a fence. And remember that every item that’s approved must support the stated goal or desired outcome for your child. Family Voices CLTS Fact Sheet #6, Creating Outcomes, has more detail on this process.



Examples of What You Might Include in an ISP

Outcome #1 Keep Your Child Safe Outdoors: You want your child with autism to play in the back yard with her siblings.

  • Step back and ask: “What do we hope to accomplish?”  If your outcome statement is, “We want to keep my child safe and play outdoors with his siblings,” you can work with your SSC to think about what adaptive equipment or home modifications might get you to that goal. It might be a fence, a wander alarm or other item that will keep your child safe and able to be outside with their siblings.

Outcome #2 Make New Friends and Spend Time with Peers During the Summer: You want your child to be with friends and have fun during the summer.

  • Step back and ask, “How can my child be in an inclusive summer program that allows them to make friends and participate in activities with their peers?” With the SSC’s support, you might look at camps and other community-based or school-based programs. Once you decide on the best solution, tuition for that program can be part of your child’s ISP, with the CLTS program paying directly for the activities or camp.

Outcome #3 Make Our House Wheelchair Accessible: Your child uses a wheelchair for mobility and is getting too heavy to carry up the stairs into your house. You need a way to get your child in and out of your home safely. 

  • Step back and ask, “How can we make our home accessible so my child can independently get in and out of the house?” You and your child’s SSC will discuss ideas for making your home wheelchair accessible. One of the solutions might be a ramp in your garage, at your front or back door or an elevator lift. With recommendations from your SSC or a contractor who specializes in home modifications, you might be asked to obtain multiple quotes. If approved, the cost of home modifications or equipment would be added to the ISP.




Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children’s Resource Network, 877-WiscWay (877-947-2929):  Wisconsin Wayfinder offers families one name and phone number to find services for children with special health care needs. Wayfinder connects you to a resource guide at one of the five Children’s Resource Centers in your area.

Family Voices of Wisconsin, 2024©  |  familyvoiceswi.org

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