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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > School Health > Special Health Care Needs

  Special Health Care Needs

Schools are required to provide "reasonable accommodations" in order to assist students with special health care needs participate to their fullest potential in school-sponsored activities, while under school jurisdiction.
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Elks Home Service Program, helps children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities get the services and support they require in order to thrive in their community and develop to their full potential. This is accomplished by: 
  • providing information on health care services and other resources by calling the SKN, toll-free helpline (1-800-986-4550);
  • offering service coordination to families through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Elks Home Service Program where an Elks Home Service staff person will work with families in their homes to connect them to needed services and resources; and,
  • supporting eight regional coordinators, who are all parents of children with special health care needs and disabilities, to work in communities to identify service gaps and address the unique challenges of service systems. 

Parent Youth Professional Forums (PYPF)

PYPF is shared discussion about issues regarding children with special health care needs in your region. Dates and additional information will be posted to this site as they become available.


Northeast Region (Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties).

Northeast Central Region (Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties):

Northwest Region (Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties)

Northwest Central Region (Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties):

Southeast Region (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties)

Southeast Central Region (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties):

Southwest Region (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties):

Southwest Central Region (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Mifflin and Somerset counties).


Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education  provides help for families and advocates of children with special needs. They can be contacted via the ConsultLine at 1-800-879-2301.  In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapters 14 and 15 of the State Board Regulations, PDE provides general supervision over all public schools, school districts, and other public education agencies within the state to ensure that each student with a disability receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and that each family has the benefits of a system of procedural safeguards.​  In order to file a complaint with the Bureau of Special Education, go to the link above and scroll down to "Compliance" for the forms and procedure.
Regulations regarding provision of special education services in schools.
Regulations regarding provision of services to regular education students with special health care needs.
School-based ACCESS Program Overseen by the Bureau of Special Education, this program is a system that can be used by schools to obtain funding for health-related services for special education and special needs students. Schools can gain medical assistance (MA) reimbursements for the cost of related services currently being provided to MA eligible students.

Updated: January 2018