Saturday, August 8, 2020

Dynamic Impact Helps a Maryland County Implement the Routines-Based Interview

 Written with Jennifer Dale and Mary Hendricks

Implementation of the Routines-Based Interview across a program requires a commitment of all members of the team, from leadership to direct providers of services.  One small program in Maryland has made great gains by applying the practices of Dynamic Impact to the implementation of RBI across all Part C providers. 

St. Mary's County, MD (Google Maps)

In February 2019, St. Mary’s County in Leonardtown Maryland held a five-day RBI institute for the county’s 13 providers of early intervention and 2 child find evaluators. This institute, modeled on the International RBI Certification Institute, provided content, demonstration, practice and a plan for fidelity for all providers.  With three internationally certified RBI coaches already on staff in conjunction with a state RBI content coach, this program was set for positive results for use of the RBI with fidelity.  By June 2019, two additional providers had met fidelity criteria for the interview. 

Dynamic Impact was suggested as a means for sustainability and scalability. 

Dynamic Impact is a systematic approach designed to support teams to implement evidence-based practices using a customized training package.
  Data-informed and decision-making practices are highlighted as key elements to a team-based approach for focused continuous improvement.    A team of seven, including St. Mary’s leadership, and direct service providers as well as members from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education developed a vision and mission statement and set goals for the year long work.  The goals included increasing the number of RBI interviewers, using the RBI during initial individualized family service plans (IFSPs) and annual reviews, and ensuring that IFSPs were of high quality, as measured by a rating scale. 


The final review of the implementation goals in St. Mary’s County showed dramatic changes, despite the COVID-19 crisis. A year following the RBI Institute, St. Mary’s increased their number of staff trained to RBI fidelity from 3 three to 10. Currently, one staff member from the original training, and two new providers are working towards fidelity.


Additional goals set forth in the Dynamic Impact process included a movement from 51% to 93% of all initial IFSPs using the RBI as the family assessment, and from 32% to 64% of all annual reviews included an RBI.


In a review of 15 IFSPs, all four reviewers rated the IFSPs as meeting the standard set for high quality IFSPs. In addition, inter-rater reliability was established for these IFSP ratings. The Dynamic Impact approach was the catalyst for change.

 “I've striven to help our program embrace the use of the RBI to facilitate development of the IFSP for many years.  The Dynamic Impact Process allowed our team to come together and set goals to move us forward.  We surpassed my wildest dreams - in less than a year we increased our rate of RBI use in the development of Initial IFSPs to over 90%!  I couldn't be more pleased with the work my team did throughout this process!”  Debbie Crosby, Coordinator of Special Education, St. Mary's County Public Schools


For more information on how Dynamic Impact might help your program implement   the Routines Based Model, contact Dr. Jennifer Dale at