1 in 5 families has a child with special health care needs
We just met with the Minnesota chapter of Family Voices, a national nonprofit that supports families with children that live with a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions. The organization implements a program that provides evidence-based training to volunteer families, then connects these volunteers with families to provide support, resources, encouragement and the knowledge that you are not alone. This practice of supporting parents follows the best practice guidelines of Parent to Parent USA, and the CONNECTED Program of MN in a state affiliate of the national organization.
Family Voices is not specific to adoption, but they do have mentor families who have adopted. They work diligently to make sure they have a broad spectrum of volunteer families available to speak to any families who may need support. Along with being open to speaking to families who are currently fostering or have already adopted, volunteer families would also be helpful to our families who need help preparing for children they’ve matched with but have not yet brought home.
Support You Will Receive
Parents who join the CONNECTED Program can receive information and assistance regarding medical assistance insurance, education (e.g. IEP, 504), upcoming procedures/surgeries, new diagnoses, new therapy, finding child care that is prepared for a child with special needs, PCA and respite services, emotional support, transitions, recreation, and future planning.
Parents who have joined the program have shown:
- An increase in their confidence in caring for their families’ needs
- An increase in their confidence accessing community resources
- An increase in their confidence in their health care choices
How to Get Connected
If your family is interested in joining the program, you can contact Family Voices directly via phone, email, or through their website. A Family Voices of MN staff will connect with your family via phone to learn more about your particular needs related to their situation. Their staff will then work to find you a match family within about 24-48 hours. They will also follow up with you after you’ve matched to make sure you’re getting the support you need.
Find a Family Voices in Your State
Though our meeting was with Family Voices MN, there are affiliates across the nation. Find one in your state today:
Additional Resources from Family Voices
Along with connecting families, Family Voices also offers information and educational webinars to families. Webinar topics have included:
- An Overview of Social Services for Children with Disabilities: Medical Assistance, Waivers, and Other Programs
- Care Mapping: An Essential Tool in Communicating with Your Child’s Healthcare Team
- IEP – You Have an Equal Voice
Check out their website to find the resources available to families.