These children have or are at risk of having developmental, emotional, behavioral or chronic physical conditions and require extensive health and other related services.
An IHCP ( Individualized Health Care Plan ) can help to ensure that a child’s medical requirements are properly met during a school day. It will contain all of the pertinent information regarding the child’s health and health needs. The IHCP will also contain the name of the person or persons who are responsible for the monitoring of any special health needs whether during transportation to and from school, while at school or during field trips, after school care or at other after school activities, sports or clubs.

To develop the IHCP, parents or guardians must be sure to have open communication with the school administrators, teachers and the school nurse. Meeting with the nurse is an important step so that the child’s needs can be discussed in detail and any paperwork can be prepared and the nurse can be given time to conduct any necessary research so that he or she is well equipped to participate in the creation of the IHCP. If the child is at an age where he or she can participate in the development meeting, it might be helpful and reassuring for everyone involved.

The following are some important tips to help make the Independent Health Care Plan development meeting a successful one:

  • Parents should have as much information about the child’s condition and healthcare needs as possible.
  • Parents should bring with them all contact information for the child’s primary doctor as well as any specialists.
  • Parents or guardians should sign any waivers at their doctor’s office prior to the meeting if they wish to have the school contact healthcare providers directly.
  • Documentations such as consumer health packets, doctor’s orders and other instructional materials on the child’s condition should be brought to the meeting and a duplicate set should be kept on file to give to any hospital personnel should the need arise for emergency care.
  • The school should provide parents with the quickest contact information to reach the proper individuals such as the nurse or the child’s teacher and the parents should provide their emergency contact information as well.
  • The child’s transportation needs and instructions should also be included in the IHCP.

With proper planning and a proactive approach by both parents and school officials, a detailed IHCP can help to keep special needs children safe while at school and in the care of school and after school personnel.