Child Find Requirements

Contact Information for Butte County SELPA Local Educational Agencies
Early Start Program through BCOE
Early Start Program through Far Northern Regional Center
Important Links

Also known as the "Search and Serve" requirement, child find refers to one of the foundational mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):  that local educational agencies seek out children suspected of having a disability that would make them eligible for special education and related services and to serve them.

Each special education local plan area submitting a local plan to the Superintendent under this part shall ensure that it has in effect policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with state laws, regulations, and policies governing “child find and referral” (CA Education Code Section § 56205(a)(3).  Having a coordinated system of identification and referral provides for meeting the legal requirements of each local educational agency (LEA) to actively and systematically seek out all individuals with exceptional needs, from birth to 21 years of age, inclusive, including children not enrolled in public school programs, who reside in a school district or are under the jurisdiction of a special education local plan area or a county office of education (CA Education Code § 56300).

Child find activities are the responsibility of each district and occur prior to a referral for special education services. Under both federal and state statutes and regulations, school districts are required to locate, identify, and assess all children with disabilities who reside within the district. The child find requirement applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 United States Code [U.S.C.] § 1412(a)(3)). 

If you believe your child may have special education needs, please contact your local school district or the Butte County SELPA.  The first step to determine if your child qualifies for special education services is to make a referral to your local education agency, or through the Butte County SELPA.

                                                                Contact Information for Butte County SELPA Local Educational Agencies


 Bangor Union Elementary School District  (530) 679-2434
 Biggs Unified School District  (530) 868-1281
 Butte County Office of Education  (530) 532-5740
 Chico Unified School District  (530) 891-3000
 Durham Unified School District  (530) 895-4697
 Golden Feather Union Elementary School District  (530) 533-3833
 Gridley Unified School District  (530) 846-4383
 Manzanita Elementary School District  (530) 846-5594
 Oroville City Elementary School District  (530) 532-5690
 Oroville Union High School District  (530) 538-2300
 Palermo Union School District  (530) 533-4708
 Paradise Unified School District  (530) 872-6425
 Pioneer Union Elementary School District  (530) 589-1633
 Thermalito Union School District  (530) 538-8827
 Butte County SELPA  (530) 532-5621

Front cover of trifold SELPA brochure describing child find activities.Early Start Program through BCOE
Butte County Office of Education’s Early Start Program provides a variety of services to eligible infants and toddlers aged birth to three and their families throughout Butte County.  Eligible children include those who are experiencing developmental delays or who have a condition that is an established risk for developmental delays. Children with “low incidence” disabilities are also eligible; such as children with hearing impairments, vision impairments, and orthopedic impairments. Anyone can make a referral by calling 530-532-5740 and speaking with an Early Start staff member.  Read more in the BCOE Early Start Brochure.

Early Start Program through Far Northern Regional Center
Far Northern Regional Center (FNRC) provides services to eligible individuals with developmental disabilities.
Early Start Information for Far Northern Regional Center
Services Provided by Far Northern Regional Center 
For more information, contact the FNRC Chico Branch at (530) 895-8633,

Important Links 
Website:    California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
Guide:       "Effective Early Childhood Transitions," by the California DDS and CDE
Article:       "A Family-Centered Approach to Early Intervention," by WestEd
Article:       "Early Childhood Mental Health - Raising Awareness, Taking Action," by WestEd


Click on the image to the left to download our brochure.

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