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
Get help finding food, diapers, job training and accessing programs at over 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community partners in the Chicagoland area.
Visit the Greater Chicago Food Depository website for more information.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Funeral and Burial Benefits Program pays for funeral and burial expenses when a person’s resources and all other sources of payment are less than the DHS standard payment rates.
More information and forms for submitting a claim are available online or at your local Family Community Resource Center (FCRC). Use the DHS Office Locator to find your local FCRC.
311 provides assistance with non-emergency city services and information on events, programs and agencies within the city of Chicago. Individuals may call or access the 311 website and mobile app to:
- Create and track service requests
- Find rent or housing assistance
- Learn about the HomeMod Program that provides accessibility modifications for Chicago residents
- Search and get information on other requests in your neighborhood
Medical Health and Condition Specific Information Resources
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.
The COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program provides information to help residents served by Cook County Health, Cook County Government and Cook County Public Health find COVID-19 vaccine information and schedule an appointment all in one place.
The COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program website also provides information on:
- Vaccine facts
- In-home vaccination
- Updates on the vaccine and the community vaccination program
- The digital COVID-19 E-card
Destination Vaccination, a partnership between the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and Kaizen Health, offers free rides to get people to and from their vaccinations. Kaizen can provide vehicles to accommodate most residents, including those in wheelchairs or those who require child seats. This service is provided at no cost to residents.
Visit the Destination Vaccination website for more details.
Parenting and Caregiving Resources
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
For more information contact:
- The Illinois Respite Coalition at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377)
- Statewide Coordinator Kara McCroskey at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Got You Covered” is a non-profit organization that provides diapers, baby wipes and infant hygiene products to families in need. Diapers are available for infants, children and adults.
“Got You Covered” is located in the First United Methodist Church in Carterville. Diapers are provided as available. Anyone needing access to diapers, or who wants to donate diapers, can call (618) 922-6355 or reach out through the organization’s Facebook page.
The Illinois Respite Coalition provides a free, online Respite Provider Training Program consisting of ten courses for individuals interested in providing respite care. The courses can be taken on your own time and will provide information to meet the Respite Care Professionals Core Competencies.
Following completion, participants will a certificate of completion and have the option of joining the statewide registry to be connected to respite opportunities.