On This Page
- Community Resources for Children and Youth with Special Needs and Their Families
- Family to Family Support
Receiving information about community services is a top priority for parents of children with chronic illnesses. Linking a patient and family to community resources can involve:
- A specific service referral,
- Sharing a handout of local services with recommended services circled,
- Posting information about community resources in waiting rooms,
- Keeping up-to-date on what’s available or knowing who does.
Community Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs
- Family Health Hotline – a program of WithinReach
Toll-free, statewide child and family health Information and Referral Line from WithinReach. Get connected to services in your community including free or low-cost health insurance, food resources, immunizations, breastfeeding support, family planning services, parenting support, child development screening services, and many other social and health programs, including information for children with special health care needs. Access to interpretive service for 50 languages.Hotline (Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:00am to 5:30pm, Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm)
1-800 322-2588 or 1-800-833-6388 (tty relay)
- ParentHelp123.org – a program of WithinReach
Want to look for resources yourself and apply for programs for which you are eligible? Search the ParentHelp123 website to find services available through the Family Health Hotline. The Call Center staff is the same for the Health Hotline and ParentHelp123- Call if you want help finding out if your family qualifies for programs and filling out applications on-line.Hotline: 1-866-585-1123 Website in Spanish / En Español
- Quick Pick: Who Can Help Families and Primary Care Providers Get Services for a Child with Special Needs
How to know whether to call early intervention, public health or the school district (and links to contact information)- 1 page handout
- Public Health Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Coordinator
This link takes you to a guide with information on how to refer families to public health nurse CSHCN Coordinators. The guide also includes contact information by county for each CSHCN Coordinator in Washington State. Note: To go directly to the website of your local public health department or district
- CSHCN Coordinators are public health nurses in local health departments who can assist families who have children with special needs from birth to age 18.
CSHCN Coordinators can:
- Help families access needed services for their child, such as medical care and other interventions.
- Refer families to health insurance programs and information, both private insurance and the state funded Medicaid program.
- Help families support each other through parent support organizations.
- Help with concerns such as feeding, nutrition, growth, development and behavior.
- Provide screening and assessment for your child.
- Family Resources Coordinator (FRC)
FRCs help families with children age 0-36 months who are concerned about their child’s development get the early intervention services a child may need. At the family’s request, an FRC can help the family through screening, evaluation and assessment, the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan, receiving early intervention services and transition out of the early intervention program at age 3. More information about FRCs and early intervention services is available through the Washington State Department of Early Learning’s Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) Program.
- Go to: Resources by County for county-specific resource information or Quick Key Contacts for statewide resources
Family to Family Support
Linking to other families dealing with the same diagnosis or similar issues is an important step for many parents of children with special health care needs. Parents rank parent support groups in the top three ‘wishes’ on a list of support services – after information about community resources and financial information/help. (Liptak GS, Revell GM, Pediatrics. 84:465-471, 1989).
The link may be to another family in your practice who has indicated willingness to connect, inform and share experiences or to other family organizations in the local community, region or nation. There are many internet support groups and information resources. Encourage parents in your practice, your local family resources coordinator and the public health nurse Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) coordinator to share information on useful resources they have found with your practice.
Statewide Family to Family Support Organizations
- Parent to Parent
Washington State parent network providing emotional support and information to parents who have children with disabilities or developmental delays. 1-800-821-5927
- Fathers Network
Advocates for and provides support and resources for all men and families who have children with special needs.
- PAVE (Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment)
Statewide parent training and information center providing assistance to families who children with disabilities, ages birth through adulthood. 1-800-5 PARENT
- See Family Support Organizations page for more groups
Family Support Policy Statement