Find resource information for families and children with special health care needs.
*Note, we have created a new page for families to find information about available resources and supports during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. 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.
Learning American Sign Language
If you are interested in learning or practicing the basics of American Sign Language (ASL), these sites provide free lessons to get you started:
- ASL Connect – Gallaudet University
- Sign Language 101 – Learn Sign Language Online Free
- American Sign Language | Complete 3-Level Course | Start ASL
There are also free YouTube videos available to help you learn, practice and supplement your sign language instruction:
The Illinois Respite Coalition (IRC) is a not-for-profit organization of caregivers and respite providers dedicated to advocating support for families by ensuring access to quality respite services for the residents of Illinois. The IRC is dedicated to spreading the awareness of lifespan respite for caregivers of individuals with special needs. The IRC is able to assist caregivers by connecting them to resources in their area, provide training on respite topics, and have funding available for emergency respite
This organization’s emergency respite 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. The website gives examples of qualifying circumstances and information on how to apply.
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.
Physicians must provide current medical reports and details necessary to support the need for in-home nursing and Home Care services for Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) participants.
We developed these sample letters of medical necessity for home nursing to help physicians in this process.
For more helpful information on in-home nursing services, visit our Home Care Nursing Information for Families page.