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
Springfield Rental Assistance Program
Funds are available through the Springfield rental assistance program, a partnership between the city and the Springfield Urban League. To qualify for the program:
- The property address must be in the corporate limits of the city of Springfield.
- Your household income is within the allowable limits.
- Applicant must provide documentation showing a loss of income due to COVID-19.
- Cooperation from the applicant’s landlord to participate in the program.
Tenants seeking assistance should call the Springfield Urban League at (217) 789-0830, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please specify that you are seeking rental assistance within the city of Springfield. The intake process will occur over the phone. If you are leaving a message with the Urban League regarding the program after hours, please specify that you are seeking Springfield rental assistance along with your contact information.
The application process will include communication with your landlord to verify the rental agreement and the total rent owed. The maximum amount a tenant may receive is $1,000.
Claire’s Place offers an Emergency COVID-19 Fund to address the need in the cystic fibrosis community to cover costs of food insecurity and extensive medical and prescription drug co-pays during the pandemic due to isolation or loss of income.
Claire’s Place is a non-profit organization that provides support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis.
Clothing is distributed by Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) grantees in Illinois. Community Action Agencies are the designated CSBG grantees.
In many communities, clothing and hygiene items are available from local community organizations and non-profit partners. This link provides a listing of local Community Action Agencies (CAAs) that can help you find clothing and hygiene items in your area.
Medical Health and Condition Specific Information Resources
Governor JB Pritzker announced the locations of four state-support vaccination sites across Cook County that will begin vaccinating Illinois residents on Jan. 19.
All four locations will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on vaccinations in Cook County, please visit https://cookcountypublichealth.org/
The Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation’s COVID-19 Accessible Resources microsite provides accessible messages of critical health importance about COVID-19 to people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.
The target audiences for translations of COVID-19 guidance are individuals who have limited mobility or are blind, deaf or have limited literacy skills resulting from a variety of factors. The alternative formats include simplified text documents, videos in American Sign Language (ASL) and both digital and embossed braille.
The Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) provides this handout on the COVID-19 vaccine in plain language.
Parenting and Caregiving Resources
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 Illinois Respite Coalition put together this Virtual Care Package with free virtual resources to help caregivers take time for themselves.
It includes links to podcasts, playlists, exercises and other tips for caregivers.
Healthcare company Viatris and Sesame Street have partnered to create new resources to support the social and emotional needs of families across generations and around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They designed these resources to help young children talk through and name big feelings like stress or fear, encourage positive caregiving strategies and routines, and help families find ways to celebrate together when far apart. The animations and activities are available in English, Spanish, Hindi and Portuguese.