What is the ECSII?

The Early Childhood Service Intensity Instrument (ECSII) is a standardized aid to service planning and monitoring of progress for infants, toddlers, and children from ages 0-5 years. by determining needed intensity of service. The ECSII is a tool for providers and others involved in the care of young children with emotional, behavioral, and/or developmental needs, and their families, including those children who are experiencing environmental stressors that may put them at risk for such problems. Such children and their families may need services from a variety of agencies and providers including child welfare, mental health, primary and specialty health care, child care, early education, adult mental health and substance abuse services, and an array of community-based supports. The ECSII provides a common language for these diverse individuals and offers guidance in selecting specific services at the appropriate intensity for the young child.

The ECSII is based on the concept of Service Intensity as opposed to traditionally defined “level of care”. Traditionally, level of care has implied the need for facility-based programs to achieve higher levels of service intensity. The ECSII emphasizes intensive home and community-based services to provide higher intensity when needed. Service intensity involves multiple factors, including not only the frequency and quantity of services, but also the extent to which multiple providers or agencies are involved and the level of care coordination required.

The ECSII is based on the System of Care approach that embraces a family-driven, child-centered model of care that integrates and coordinates the efforts of different agencies and providers to individualize care in the least restrictive setting that is clinically appropriate. The ECSII guides the user to assess service intensity needs across 6 Domains (Degree of Safety, Child-Caregiver relationships, Caregiving Environment, Functional/Developmental Status, Impact of the Child’s Condition, and a Services Profile that assess caregiver and child involvement and service fit and effectiveness.  An algorithm allows for combining service intensity needs for each of the domains into a single Service Intensity score. Using the ECSII, different providers and agencies can collaborate with families and each other to provide services at specific levels of Service Intensity that are individualized, taking into account the priorities and strengths of the family. The ECSII is diagnosis independent and is non-prescriptive regarding which specific services are needed to achieve each level of Service Intensity, but it does provide information and guidance to assist with service planning.

What does the ECSII do?

  • Assists providers in creating comprehensive, culturally sensitive, strength-based, individualized, and coordinated service/treatment plans for infants, toddlers, and children ages 0-5 years.
  • Can be used with young children with mental health challenges as well as those with medical and developmental co-occurring disorders.
  • Supports active participation by child and family
  • Can be used as a metric to monitor progress in treatment.
  • Assists in assessment of program effectiveness at a systems level.
  • Provides a common language for diverse providers

What doesn't the ECSII do?

  • It does not provide a diagnosis for a child or family.
  • It does not prescribe a specific plan or setting.
  • It does not replace a comprehensive clinical evaluation or judgement.

Who uses the ECSII?

  • Licensed mental health providers, others working in child serving agencies, including early childhood educators, insurance benefit administrators, and policy makers in child serving agencies.
  • Service coordinators and wraparound planning teams.

How do I find mroe information on training in the ECSII?

Contact the Clinical Practice Program Manager at clinical@aacap.org.