Friends of Infant Toddler Services
Friends of Infant Toddler Services
Friends of Infant Toddler Services (FITS) develops, maintains and funds additional services and programs for children served by ITSJC. We are funded through private donations, fundraising events – such as the Annual Gala, Helping Toddlers Make The Turn Golf Tournament, Annual Trivia Night and other activities – and through various grants.
FITS is managed through a volunteer Board of Directors. The goal of FITS is to provide additional services and programs for the ITSJC children, to enhance the services that are provided by ITSJC, and to enable FITS to provide additional services and assistance to ITSJC children in times of extreme need or emergency.
Why Help Infant Toddler Services?
Breadth of Services
ITSJC offers eight types of services, including occupational, physical and speech therapy, family support and guidance, early childhood special education, vision, hearing and nutrition. Every child in Johnson County who meets the program requirements receives services, no matter what. ITSJC also screens every single child referred to its program, no matter what. This screening includes children who move through the Johnson County court system. We also provide expert guidance to families who need help navigating the logistics of their children’s needs, including connecting them to additional health resources and educating them on insurance processes.
Leading Quality of Care
ITSJC therapists have the highest level of training available and advanced certifications. Our collaborative approach to care brings in a team of experts based on each child’s needs as well as working directly in the home dynamic. This is the same model used by the likes of Mayo and Stamford. We are the only early intervention provider in Johnson County that provides in-home services. The family benefits from being in a comfortable and safe space, and children benefit by receiving help to cope or overcome their disability in their in most common environment.
Standard of Success
ITSJC serves as the organizational model for almost 40 early childhood programs in Kansas. Upon completing ITSJC services and therapies, 30% of children reach their goals and no longer need services after the age of three. On average, parents rated their children’s future success 9.2 out of 10.
Significant Economic Impact
ITSJC benefits businesses by positively impacting the work attendance and productivity of parents who, feeling empowered by the care their children receive, are able to be more present and focused at work instead of stressed about their situation. This aids in employee retention and provides necessary healthcare services that companies don’t have to subsidize through corporate healthcare plans.
ITSJC benefits the education system by helping to send children into the school system more prepared for success in educational system by helping to send children into the school system more prepared for success in an educational setting, improving the environment for teachers and classmates.Together with Parents as Teachers, this ensures children who need extra support don’t slip through the cracks (PAT referrals in ITSJC program = approx. 120 per year).
One of ITSJC’s funding challenges is the disparity between the cost of their services and how state funding is allocated. ITSJC costs are per service provided; state funds are allocated per child served. One child might receive four ITSJC services while another receives one; ITSJC receives the same amount of state support for each child.
Board of Directors
- Lucy McShane, President
- Chelsea O’Donnell, Secretary
- David Woolf, Treasurer
- Jamie Bloomberg, MD
- Greg Davis
- Abe Eller
- Sarah Gambach
- Joe Houlehan
- Premal Kadakia
- Adam Kaye, MD FACS
- Mekaela Kramer
- Brian Olsen, MD
- Brandy Rea
- Nicole Trembley
Every $1 spent on a child’s early intervention saves $8.60 when they reach school age.
-Presidents Council of Economic Advisors on Early Learning Initiatives
Some of the programs that FITS provides to the ITSJC children and their families are:
Community Based Playgroups
These playgroups are held at various play gyms located throughout Johnson County during the spring, fall and winter months. The playgroups are a great way for parents to come and play with their children at an indoor gym where they can meet other parents who have children with similar needs.
Playful Potentials Program
This program provides resources not available for purchase for the general public (weighted vests, Hip Helpers, etc.)
Special Assistance Program
This fund helps provides financial assistance to families for assistive technology needs (such as wheelchairs, communication devices, hearing aids, orthotics, etc.) for which no other funds are available.
Funeral Assistance Program
Some of the children receiving services from ITSJC may have life-threatening illnesses or conditions. In the tragic event that a child passes, this program will help fund up to $500 for funeral expenses for that child.