Community and Regional Support
Input from families of children and youth, young adults with special health care needs, community service providers, health care providers and other stakeholders is valued by the Department of Health. Input received by you helps to guide the department in deciding how to use its resources in developing services and programs. Eight Special Kids Network (SKN) regional coordinators have been hired to engage communities about issues facing children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families. The SKN regional coordinators are all parents of children with special health care needs.
The eight SKN regional coordinators coordinate and facilitate several opportunities to engage communities about issues facing CYSHCN and their families that includes the following:
- Parent Youth Professional Forums (PYPFs) - PYPFs are opportunities for parents, youth with and without special health care needs and providers to come together under one roof to learn, network, have their voices heard and to hear from Department of Health representatives. The focus is on overarching issues that concern all CYSHCN. Anyone with an interest in CYSHCN is welcome to participate in a PYPF.
- Family Gatherings - family gatherings are informal gatherings that regional coordinators organize with families and youth to learn about needs and gaps in their community. The regional coordinators bring that information back to the Department of Health to help guide our work on behalf of CYSHCN and their families. Family gatherings also connect families to each other for support.
- SKN Meetings - SKN meetings occur in response to identified issues or needs expressed by members of the community. These meetings are coordinated and facilitated by regional coordinators and bring together stakeholders from the community to collectively address the identified issue or need. It is expected that a positive resolution or some action will occur as a result of the meeting.
Contact the SKN regional coordinator in your region to be involved and have your issues heard by participating in any or all of the above opportunities for public input.