Who We Are /

History

In 1935, Title V of the Social Security Act enabled states to “extend and improve services for crippled children.”

Two years later, the Governor of Illinois issued an executive order to create the Division of Physically Handicapped Children in the Department of Public Welfare. This division, created to receive federal funds and administer services to the state’s children with special needs, became what is known today as the Division of Specialized Care for Children.

The division was transferred to the University of Illinois in 1941, and by the division’s 10th anniversary in 1947, more than 50,000 children had been registered and helped. In 1991, our name was officially changed to the Division of Specialized Care for Children.

Today, thousands of families throughout Illinois annually receive some form of help from Specialized Care for Children. Services are coordinated by a network of highly professional staff, working out of 13 regional offices across the state. We consistently draw on the networks and knowledge we’ve built over the decades, while staying up to date on ever-changing insurance, health, and policy issues.

Much has changed in the 75+ years since our division was founded, from the language we use to talk about children with special needs to the medical advancements and insurance plans that support them. What hasn’t changed is our dedication to improving the lives of these children and the families who care for them. We’re here to help.