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Resource Directory

Find resource information for families and children with special health care needs.

*Note, we have created a page for families to find information about available resources and supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources and Supports for Families page for the latest information.* 

Some of these resources are specific for families and children served by the Core or Home Care Program, while others may be of interest to any family or child with special health needs. For resources specific to your area, go to the Browse by Region links on this page.

You can use the search field in the upper right hand corner to narrow your view.  For example, you can search for support groups, respite, a specific topic, or by condition.  Check back often for updates.  If you don’t find what you need, call us at (800) 322-3722 or send us an email.

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Education Resources

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Family Resources

  • Special Father's Network

    Special Father’s Network is a dad-to-dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs.

    The program connects new fathers with special needs children to another father (a Mentor Father) who has experienced a similar situation. The program matches Mentor Fathers as closely as possible based on the child’s special needs, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic group and relationship to the child e.g., .father, stepfather, grandfather).

    The Special Father’s Network is available through the 21st Century Dads Foundation, which raises awareness and resources for greater father involvement and seeks to inspire dads to be present, caring and nurturing.

  • Illinois Respite Coalition

    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

    The website gives examples of qualifying circumstances and information on how to apply. See the emergency care flyer for more details. (The flyer is also available in Spanish.)

    For more information contact:

    • The Illinois Respite Coalition at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377)
    • Statewide Coordinator Kara McCroskey at kmccroskey.irc@gmail.com
  • Almost Home Kids

    Almost Home Kids provides a bridge from hospital to home through an innovative community-based care system for children with medical complexities. It responds to the needs of families, trains caregivers, offers respite care, advocates for accessibility and inclusion and educates healthcare professionals.

    Almost Home Kids offers transitional, respite and respite transportation care. It has locations in Chicago, Naperville and Peoria.

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Medical/Health Resources

  • Get Covered Illinois - The Official Health Marketplace

    If you are looking for health insurance for yourself or your family, or if you own a small business or lead a nonprofit organization this website is the official site in Illinois for signing up for health insurance.

  • DSCC's Emergency Plan Template

    The Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) developed this emergency plan template to help our participant families create an emergency plan to keep them safe and prepared in the event of a disaster or other emergencies.

    Sections include emergency contacts, emergency prep tips, evacuation plans and plans for medical emergencies.

    Emergency Plan Template in English

    Emergency Plan Template in Spanish (coming soon)

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Fact Sheet for Parents

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.

    The Illinois Department of Public Health provides this fact sheet for parents to help them understand how RSV spreads and how to prevent it.

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