Mississippi Today recently published this sobering article by health reporter Larrison Campbell detailing stories of young children with disabilities failing to receive federally mandated early intervention services through the First Steps Program at Mississippi State Department of Health due to budget and personnel constraints.
We know these families' stories are very real because some of these very real families have contacted our organization.
Some of you have asked about bringing families together who are facing this same issue. We are happy to facilitate that. Just call (601-355-0915) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to join with other families in your shoes.
You are a key member of any team helping your child. If you believe your child has not received the services they should have through First Steps, we encourage you to carefully review your family's rights in the Procedural Safeguards published by the Department of Health. You will find a Formal State Complaint Form on page 29.
Families as Allies stands with any family in this situation and we are sure our partner family-run organizations do too. If we can support you in advocating for what you want for your child, please feel free to reach out to us.