Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

WCYSHCN people

Promoting quality care for children and youth with special health care needs in Wisconsin.

 

Care Coordination and a Medical Home training modules

Care Coordination is the process that helps connect children and families with appropriate services in a coordinated way to achieve good health.

Family Voices of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative have partnered to develop a three-part training on Care Coordination and the Medical Home. The modules are helpful for families who have typically developing children and for those who have children and youth with special health care needs.

 

The Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) program promotes quality care for children and youth with special health care needs in Wisconsin.

Program Goal

For every child with special needs and their families

To assure that children and youth with special health care needs:

  • Are identified early,
  • Receive high quality coordinated care, and
  • Receive, with their families, the supports they need.

The Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program collaborates with national, state and community-based partners to link children to appropriate services, close service gaps, reduce duplication and develop policies to better serve families. 

Finding Your Way: A Navigation Guide for Wisconsin Families Who Have Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities assists families who may have concerns or questions about their child's development or have recently received a diagnosis of a special health care need or disability. It provides brief descriptions of programs, services and systems of support and gives contact information and links to learn more about these and other resources.

English and Spanish versions of the Guide can be downloaded from the University of Wisconsin Waisman Center website:

  • English: A Navigation Guide for Wisconsin Families Who Have Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities (PDF)

  • Español: Una guía de navegación para las familias de Wisconsin con niños y jóvenes con necesidades especiales de atención de salud y discapacidades (PDF)

Who are Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs?

Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) are defined by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) as:

"...those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally."

The CYSHCN Program works to improve systems of care for anyone from birth through age 21 with a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional illness or condition. Some examples include ADHD, asthma, autism spectrum disorders, childhood cancers, cerebral palsy, deaf or blind, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart disease, and mental health conditions.

What is the impact on Wisconsin families? 

Over 245,000 or 19.1% of Wisconsin children have a special health care need, of which: 

  • Over 1 in 12 children missed 11 or more days of school due to illness.
  • Over 1 in 10 families reports a family member had to cut back on work hours or stop working because of their child's health or health conditions.
  • Nearly 40% of families currently insured report their insurance is inadequate.
  • Over 1 in 4 families reports spending $1,000 or more each year for out of pocket medical expenses.

Source: Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health website.

For more data on CYSHCN, go to the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, 2016 National Survey of Children's Health.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Bureau of Community Health Promotion, Family Health Section, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Title V Services Block grant, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Service Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services and other funding sources. For more information, visit the Maternal and Child Health Bureau website.

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program Contacts

Wisconsin has five Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs that can help families get answers, find services, and connect with community resources. Their services are free and private.

Last Revised: November 21, 2018