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Section: Findings, declarations

Statute: 26:1A-36.6

1. The Legislature finds and declares that: a. It is in the best interests of the State to provide a comprehensive system of early intervention services to support infants and toddlers with disabilities, those at risk for disability, and their families, that is built on existing social networks, and naturally occurring supports such as community associations and extended families which promote the inclusion of the child and the family within the community; b. Infants and toddlers with disabilities are uniquely dependent on their families for survival and nurturance, and while service systems and the personnel within those systems may fluctuate, a family is the only common thread in a child's life; c. There is an urgent need to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities to minimize their potential for developmental delay and to enhance the capacity for families to meet the needs of these infants and toddlers; d. There is also a need to reduce the education costs to our society, reduce costs associated with reliance on social services, minimize the likelihood of institutionalization, reduce health care costs and improve the long-term health and potential for future employability and independence of infants and toddlers with disabilities; e. No one agency or discipline can meet the complex needs of infants with disabilities and their families, and services to infants and toddlers with disabilities must be comprehensive and multi-disciplinary and must be coordinated so as to assure access and assist families in obtaining needed information and encouraging advocacy on their behalf; and f. Services and strategies to assist and support families must respect autonomy, interdependence and decision-making in a way which reflects the unique racial, ethnic, cultural and social-economic experiences and background of a family. L.1993,c.309,s.1.

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