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 coronavirus disease 2019 (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
The Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD) provides resources for families in the following areas: federal and state guidance, remote learning, assistive and accessible technology, disability health information and resources, COVID-19 preparedness, housing, pets, relief funds, self-care and transportation.
Help Illinois Families expands on the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Program (CSBG). If you meet the income requirements and submit your application, you may be eligible for emergency assistance to cover the costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food and other household necessities.
LIHEAP helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services. This includes assistance with heating, gas, propane and electricity.
CSBG offers Illinoisans an opportunity to receive support for an array of essential services including rent assistance, food, temporary shelter, medicine and more.
Beginning June 5, weekend food packages are available for southern Illinois families with children ages birth to 5 at the Stress and Trauma Treatment Center, 1201 Locust St., in Eldorado.
Medical Health and Condition Specific Information Resources
HealthyChildren.org provides answers to some frequently asked questions about cloth face coverings and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital compiled this list of resources that includes a section for children with special needs, parenting during COVID-19 and schooling children while working from home.
On this podcast from RadioMD, which features experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a pediatrician who focuses on children with special healthcare needs discusses ideas for how families can cope with the pandemic, especially when the supports provided by schools are unavailable.
Parenting and Caregiving Resources
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 a contact to apply.
HealthyChildren.org provides information on the feelings many of us experience during uncertain times and how they provide a chance to model and teach lifelong resilience skills to children.
Home visiting is an essential service for families as they navigate social isolation, economic uncertainty, the challenge of balancing work without child care, and other unique and heightened stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact sheet provides information on how to access virtual home visiting and how it can benefit families.