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Part C/BabyNet Disputes and Concerns


Dispute Resolution

There may be times when a parent, individual or agency has a concern to address, such as a disagreement with a Service Coordinator or an Early Intervention Service (EIS) provider.  In other instances, it may be a need to investigate if a family’s or child’s rights under IDEA/Part C have been violated.  Below we list several ways that concerns can be noted and addressed.

Options for State Dispute Resolution

Informal Options

For concerns or disagreements, informal solutions are encouraged.  This includes talking with the Service Coordinator, their supervisor, or the company owner; or the early intervention service provider (ex., therapist), their supervisor or company owner about a concern or disagreement (ex., a provider who is frequently late for appointments).  If the concern is not resolved, a meeting of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team may be requested, or the issue can be brought to the attention of:; 803-898-2121 (Gail); 803-360-0643; 803-898-2125


When a parent is discussing a concern or disagreement, it helps to think about the following before talking with the Service Coordinator or EIS provider:

  • What are your specific concerns?
  • What are your questions?
  • What would you like the person to do about this situation or how can you work together to solve the problem?

For additional information about talking with professionals, the Parent Training and Information Center in South Carolina (Family Connection of SC) offers resources, education, and training in communication and parent advocacy.

Formal Options

If the complaint is about something that is a potential violation of family rights and safeguards or the regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA/Part C), or informal problem solving did not address the issue or concern, a formal complaint may be filed.  The complaint must be filed within one year of the alleged violation of rights or regulations.

There are three types of state-level dispute resolution:

  • A Written Formal State Complaint is filed when an investigation is requested to determine if IDEA has been followed. If IDEA has not been followed, the state must provide a resolution to the problem.
  • Mediation is a voluntary process under Part C of IDEA that brings the parent and others together to resolve disagreements. An impartial, qualified, and trained mediator helps participants communicate with each other so that everyone has an opportunity to express concerns and offer solutions. If a dispute is resolved through the mediation process, a written and legally binding agreement is created and signed.
  • A Due Process Hearing can be requested when the parent wants an officer of the court to make a legally binding decision about whether IDEA has been followed.
Agencies and Other Parties
  • A Written Formal State Complaint is filed when an investigation is requested to determine if IDEA has been followed. If IDEA has not been followed, the state must provide a resolution to the problem.

More information about each type of dispute resolution can be found in the IDEA/Part C Procedures for Complaint Investigation and Dispute Resolution.

Anyone choosing to file a complaint and/or request other dispute resolution procedures must complete and sign Request for Dispute Resolution Form (Spanish).  

If at any point the person filing chooses to stop the complaint process, the Withdrawal of Dispute Resolution Form (Spanish) must be completed and signed. 

Completed forms can be submitted as follows:


Fax:                    803.255.8206

Mail:                  SCDHHS/Appeals and Hearings
                           1801 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201                                         
                           Attn:  IDEA/Part C Disputes


Resources for Families

The following family resources are available from Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE).  All Guides are available in multiple languages on the CADRE website.

IDEA Early Intervention Dispute Resolution Comparison Chart

IDEA Early Intervention Guide to Written State Complaints

IDEA Early Intervention Guide to Mediation

IDEA Early Intervention Guide Due Process Complaints and Hearing Requests

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