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.
- Icon indicates condition covered by Specialized Care for Children
The Autism Program is an initiative that offers resource information & promotes best practice in the diagnosis, treatment and education of children with ASD.
“Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois” is a document developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for parents and others that outlines the educational rights of children who have disabilities and receive special education services.
Inclusion is the law, but it takes more than legal compliance to create an environment where all children feel included and valued. Educating children about disability and inclusion can protect vulnerable students from bullying and encourage empathy and kindness among students.
Baylor University’s “How to Teach Children About Disabilities and Inclusion” outlines age-appropriate ways to teach children about disabilities and strategies for fostering empathy and understanding in school or any social environment.
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.
Print or download the emergency care flyer:
For more information contact:
- The Illinois Respite Coalition at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377)
- Statewide Coordinator Kara McCroskey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost Home Kids is a short-term, community based pediatric healthcare facility. They provide transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs and they train families to provide care in preparation for going home. Almost Home Kids also provides respite care. They are located in Chicago and Naperville.
Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center provides care to children with complex medical needs who are not yet able to go home. They also provide training for caregivers enabling them to care for the child when he/she transitions home. Maryville offers both transitional and respite care.
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.
Children under 5 may now get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) and other partners have put together helpful handouts for families with information about the vaccines, planning your visit, and tips and tricks to use before, during and after your child’s immunization.
The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics provides a wide range of COVID-19 vaccination and other immunization resources for families. The information is provided in an easy-to-understand format and is available in English and Spanish.
- COVID-19 treatment for children not in the hospital and at risk for severe illness
- Mental Health During COVID-19: Signs Your Child May Need More Support
- Tips and tricks for before, during and after your immunization visit