Distance Mentoring Model

The Distance Mentoring Model (DMM) promotes the implementation of Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI) for families of children eligible for Part C services and supports. Incorporating evidence-based practices for professional development with technology strategies and supports, DMM engages early intervention providers, service coordinators, and program administrators in a systematic change process to increase the use of recommended practices with children and families. 

DMM works collaboratively with stakeholders including administrators, family members, program coordinators, and service providers to develop and implement professional development activities that are meaningful and relevant as they align to the needs of the state or program.  Performance-based feedback refers to remarks and observations that relate to specific actions and behaviors in an activity. In DMM performance-based feedback is shared by expert mentors and peer partners to help EI providers work toward their goals. Measurement of meaningful outcomes is an essential component of sustainable shifts toward family-centered practices in natural environments. In DMM outcomes are measured through self-checklists, caregiver coaching coding, and IFSP documents.  Mentoring describes a supportive relationship in which an individual with knowledge and experience in each area facilitates a colleague’s professional growth through feedback, reflection, goal setting (Neuman & Cunningham, 2009) and regular evaluation of the mentoring relationship. Mentoring relationships can help professionals identify desired outcomes and strategies, utilize collaborative action planning for the implementation of new practices, and guide reflection and problem solving related to changes in practice.

DMM Goals

  • To provide collaborative, ongoing support to state agencies and early intervention programs to meet their goals related to implementing family-guided routines-based intervention.
  • To increase technology use in the development and implementation of high-quality professional development activities.
  • To serve as a resource for capacity building within state and local early intervention programs.
  • To disseminate research findings related to mentoring, technology use, and family-guided, routines-based intervention.

DMM Components


Training introduces information focused on changing roles in service delivery, paradigm shifts from child-focused to collaborative consultation, caregiver coaching, and reflection on the core components of family centered services in natural environments (FCNE):

  • Recommended family centered interactions and instruction and team practices serve as content
  • Routines as the context for caregiver implemented embedded intervention
  • Caregiver coaching strategies to support caregiver participation and engagement
  • FGRBI Key Indicators as measurement for Family Guided Routines Based Intervention


Regularly scheduled technology-supported meetings using the SS-OO-PP-RR format support participants to meet their goals related to EI service delivery with performance based feedback.

Peer Mentoring

Service providers within an agency pair together to share feedback using the FGRBI Key Indicators Checklist.

Performance-Based Feedback

Shared using a variety of formats including video clips and summary notes based on individual coaching plans.


Topical online presentations and conversations related to Family Guided Routines Based Intervention and Caregiver Coaching.


Materials including handouts, checklists, and video illustrations are developed to help service providers integrate core components of Family Guided Routines Based Intervention into their day-to-day work with children and families.


Evaluation of individual and group progress supporting change in areas such as caregiver coaching strategy use, number and types of routines used for embedded intervention, and use of reflective conversations.

DMM Values and Practices Based on the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) Conceptual Framework

  • Partnership with state or program leadership
  • Evidence-based intervention delivered within context of evidence-based professional development
  • Flexible performance measures adapted to agreed upon practices and outcomes
  • Technology supports matched to outcomes and capacity

Collaborating Agencies

Related Websites