Find resource information for families and children with special health care needs.
*Note, we have created a page for families to find information about available resources and supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources and Supports for Families page for the latest information.*
Some of these resources are specific for families and children served by the Core or Home Care Program, while others may be of interest to any family or child with special health needs. For resources specific to your area, go to the Browse by Region links on this page.
You can use the search field in the upper right hand corner to narrow your view. For example, you can search for support groups, respite, a specific topic, or by condition. Check back often for updates. If you don’t find what you need, call us at (800) 322-3722 or send us an email.
- Icon indicates condition covered by Specialized Care for Children
The Autism Program is an initiative that offers resource information & promotes best practice in the diagnosis, treatment and education of children with ASD.
“Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois” is a document developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for parents and others that outlines the educational rights of children who have disabilities and receive special education services.
The Illinois Chapter of the Association of Education of Young Children (ILAEYC or Illinois AEYC) works to enrich the quality of care and education of the young child by:
- Increasing communication among parents, caregivers and professionals involved in the care and education of young children
- Providing in-service training for the early childhood community
- Hosting opportunities for community learning
ILAEYC has chapters and volunteers throughout the state.
The Illinois Respite Coalition (IRC) is a not-for-profit organization of caregivers and respite providers dedicated to supporting families and ensuring access to quality respite services for the residents of Illinois. The IRC assists caregivers by connecting them to resources in their area, providing training on respite topics and having funding available for emergency respite. The IRC helps caregivers of individuals across the lifespan with any disability.
The Emergency Respite Care Program offers funding and resources to support caregivers who are not receiving any respite services and have an urgent need for respite care in the absence of any other funding source. Emergency respite care may be for an unplanned or planned event for reasons including:
- Caregiver illness (physical, mental or emotional)
- Caregiver hospitalization
- Work-related situation
- Reduction of stress level
The website gives examples of qualifying circumstances and information on how to apply.
Print or download the emergency care flyer:
For more information contact:
- The Illinois Respite Coalition at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377)
- Statewide Coordinator Kara McCroskey at email@example.com
Almost Home Kids is a short-term, community based pediatric healthcare facility. They provide transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs and they train families to provide care in preparation for going home. Almost Home Kids also provides respite care. They are located in Chicago and Naperville.
Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center provides care to children with complex medical needs who are not yet able to go home. They also provide training for caregivers enabling them to care for the child when he/she transitions home. Maryville offers both transitional and respite care.
If you are looking for health insurance for yourself or your family, or if you own a small business or lead a nonprofit organization this website is the official site in Illinois for signing up for health insurance.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a mental health screening at mhascreening.org. The screening is free and anonymous.
Taking a screen can help you to better understand what you are experiencing and get helpful resources. After that, consider talking to someone you trust about your results and seek out a professional to find the support you need.
Tracheostomy Care at Home is provided by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to help parents learn how to take care of their child’s tracheostomy (trach). Topics include:
- The Tracheostomy
- Tracheostomy Skin Care
- How to Suction the Tracheostomy
- How to Change a Tracheostomy Tube
Please note: This information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute in any way for medical education, training, treatment, advice or diagnosis by a healthcare professional.