Agency offers support for children with special needs

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017 8:45 am

To The Herald-Whig:

November is National Family Caregivers Month. It recognizes those who selflessly and continuously care for their relatives. Caring for a child with special needs, in particular, is one of the most rewarding yet demanding circumstances a family can face. Each diagnosis prompts its own flurry of questions and anxieties. The maze of information, health insurance and medical bills can seem endless, and multiple doctor visits can feel like a juggling act.

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Division of Specialized Care for Children recognizes these challenges and is here to help. DSCC is a statewide program that partners with Illinois families and their local communities to connect children with special health care needs to the services and resources they need to reach their full potential.

We have 12 regional offices, including in Springfield, and work with doctors, schools and community groups to develop a plan of care that addresses a child's medical, social, behavioral, educational and financial needs. This process is called care coordination and is free for all children with eligible medical conditions, regardless of their family's income level.

Our care coordination is tailored to each family and can include finding specialized medical care, explaining insurance benefits and arranging transportation for appointments. This assistance empowers families to feel more confident and organized in their child's care.

Too many family caregivers feel isolated and overwhelmed. DSCC is here to put them at the center of a seamless support system that improves the quality of their lives. To learn more, visit dscc.uic.edu.

Thomas F. Jerkovitz

Executive director

UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children

Springfield, Ill.