IFSP Information Toolkit: Parent Portal

Introduction

A parent portal is a web-based site that serves as a single point of access for authorized family members to information about a child’s IFSP. It may also include other resources and tools, such as functionality that enables electronic messaging among IFSP team members. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act encourages family involvement in early intervention services, and parents/guardians have the right to inspect and review early intervention records (IDEA, Section 303.405[a]). A parent portal in an online IFSP application or data system can help families stay informed and engaged in their children’s early intervention program by giving them easy access to IFSP record information and a mechanism for communicating with other team members.

Connections to DaSy Data System Framework:

Potential Data Elements

  • Family member’s first and last name
  • Relationship to child
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Information needed for identity authentication, e.g., security question(s) and answer(s)

Functionality

  • Access and security control
  • User interface
  • User account management capabilities (e.g., update password, change contact information)
  • Options for document library, calendar, electronic messaging, and other chosen features

Key Considerations

  • Ensure the appropriate individuals have access to a child’s record by implementing various forms of authentication to establish the identity of the parent portal user. The choice of the specific identity authentication method often varies depending on the level of sensitivity of the data that are being disclosed through the portal. Therefore, after determining what information is shared via the portal, determine the appropriate level of identity authentication assurance.
  • Establish a protocol for when and how to disable access, including procedures for reactivating accounts and recovering log-in information when a user forgets his/her username and/or password. System administrators should follow the protocol for disabling access under a variety of circumstances, such as when a child exits the program or when a parent does not access the system for a certain period of time.
  • Consider developing security audits and related policies and procedures, which can help track who accessed the portal (e.g., IP address, user ID) and what was accessed. As with identity authentication, the sensitivity of the data that are accessed via the portal will drive the audit trail requirements.

State Examples

Utah

Video Demonstration (view 23:30-27:40)
Explains why the parent portal was created and shows how informed is securely shared with parents via the portal.

Kentucky

  • Information for Parent Access to Parent Portal. This handout for families provides instructions on how to register for access to Kentucky’s Technology-assisted Observation and Teaming Support System (TOTS), as well as details about the information available once the parent is in the system.
  • Step-by-Step Instructions for TOTS Parent Access. This guidance document walks Service Coordinators through the process for setting families up with a parent portal account, including suggestions for how to introduce families to the purpose of the portal and its benefits.
  • Parent Portal Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. This document shares information about the parent portal’s purpose and expectations for users, as well as technical system requirements for using it.
  • Parent Agreement for Access to Parent Portal via Internet. This document is signed by parents and a staff representative to acknowledge the family’s understanding of and agreement with program expectations associated with using the parent portal.

Related Resources