Resource Directory /

COVID-19 Resources and Supports for Families

We’re here to help children with special healthcare needs and their families navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of life for our participants and their families.

In these uncertain times, we remain here to partner with Illinois families and communities to help children and youth with special healthcare needs connect to the services and resources they need.

We’ve compiled a list of resources and available supports to help families meet their needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can search for these resources by category or region on the right side of this page.

The list includes places offering free meals, utility assistance, free Wi-Fi, educational websites, activities during social distancing and condition-specific resources.

We continue to update this list as new resources become known or available. Please check back often for the latest information.

If you have questions about a specific need and would like additional support, please call your local DSCC Regional Office or contact (800) 322-3722.

Meals and Financial Resources

  • Chicago COVID-19 Resource Coordination Hub

    Resource Navigators at the Chicago COVID-19 Resource Coordination Hub are available to help Chicago residents connect with organizations that can provide necessities like food, medication, housing, utility assistance programs and more.

    The service is confidential and free. Resource Navigators are available seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. by calling (844) 929-2917.

  • Illinois Unidos - COVID-19 Resources for Latinx Families

    Illinois Unidos provides a collection of resources developed for and focusing on Latinx families to address:

    • Frequently asked questions regarding vaccinations and mitigation measures
    • Accessing health, economic and mental health community services
    • Stopping the growth of COVID-19
    • The devastating economic impact of COVID-19

    Illinois Unidos is a consortium of more than 150 Latino elected and appointed officials, health professionals and representatives of community-based organizations.

  • FoodFinder

    FoodFinder’s free website and app display an interactive food assistance map, helping users find their nearest food pantry or other free food programs anywhere in the United States.

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Medical Health and Condition Specific Information Resources

  • Vaccine Appointment Call Center

    The Illinois Department of Public Health has launched the Vaccine Appointment Call Center to help people who do not have access to or who have difficulty navigating online services in making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

    The toll-free Vaccine Appointment Call Center phone number is (833) 621-1284 and can take TTY calls.

    The call center is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight.  The call center has English and Spanish-speaking call agents with the availability for translation into other languages.

    Call agents will help individuals who do have access to online services navigate the various registration sites.  However, if the individual does not have access to online services or is unable to navigate the site, the agent will make an appointment on their behalf.

  • Parents Helping Parents COVID-19 Information

    Parents Helping Parents, an organization devoted to supporting and educating families of children and youth with special needs, provides a wide range of COVID-19 information and videos to help families.

    Topics include:

    • When to Get Tested
    • Optimizing Your Home Environment for Online Learning
    • Town Hall on COVID Vaccine and Individuals with Disabilities
    • Keeping Your Sanity
    • Helping Your Youth/Teen with Anxiety in Unpredictable Times
    • Caregiver Resources for Coping During the Pandemic
  • Telehealth Tip Sheet

    The Child Neurology Foundation provides a telehealth tip sheet to help families and children prepare for video or phone appointments and make them as comfortable and successful as possible.

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Parenting and Caregiving Resources

  • Illinois Respite Coalition

    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.

    The IRC has also introduced a toll-free Illinois Statewide Respite Information Number at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377). The phone number provides information and referrals for respite for individuals across the lifespan.

  • The Mighty's Digital Toolkit for Caregivers

    The Mighty provides a digital toolkit to help caregivers learn more about the ins and outs of caregiving and discover helpful resources to utilize along their caregiving journey.

    The Mighty’s Digital Toolkit for Caregivers includes:

    • A caregiving binder, complete with worksheets to help you better organize important information
    • A respite care questionnaire to help you find the perfect respite worker for your specific needs
    • A self-care mini-guide to help you destress and prioritize your mental health

    Everything included in the toolkit is downloadable, printable and shareable.

  • The September 26th Project

    The September 26th Project focuses on helping families and caregivers of children or adults with cognitive, behavioral and/or physical impairments prepare for wandering and elopement and disasters such as fires floods, or earthquakes.

    The September 26th Projects assists and encourages families to do a checkup at least annually and not put emergency preparedness on the back burner. They provide checklists and information on:

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