What are the benefits of Children with Special Health Care Needs?
Public Health Nurses visit families to assess their child’s needs, refer to
resources, talk with providers, and provide teaching and guidance to parents.
Visits may be by telephone or in a family’s home.
Assessing child’s needs
With each visit, the child’s health and development and the parent’s care
of the child are assessed. The child's highest priority needs are addressed
first. Services are matched to the child's needs and the parent’s abilities.
Parents enrolled in the WorkFirst program that have a child with special needs
may be referred by WorkFirst staff to a Public Health Nurse. The Nurse assesses
how the child's condition impacts the parent's ability to work and recommends
if a return to work is indicated. A plan is developed to ensure the family is
engaged in activities leading to eventual economic self-sufficiency and to
ensure the necessary support is in place to address the child's needs.
Education and counseling
Parents are taught how to help their child develop and assisted with recognizing
infant cues and how to respond to the child’s distress. Families are helped to
understand instructions for taking care of a special needs child at home. Options
are explored and problem solutions developed with the family.
For a family who has a child with an elevated blood lead level, an interview,
education, and periodic contact is continued until the blood lead level is
below 10 mcg/dl.
Public Health Nurses understand community resources and the health care system.
They help a family connect to needed services for their child and coordinate
appointments when the child has a number of doctors, specialty clinics, and
different types of therapy.
Limited and restricted funding
Services, equipment, or supplies found to be medically necessary by the local
Children with Special Health Care Needs Coordinator and not covered by any
other sources may be eligible for funding through the Children with Special
Health Care Needs program when funding is available and the family
income is within certain limits.
Children with Special Health Care Needs serves families that have a special needs child.
Children must be under age 18, live in Snohomish County, and have at least one of these conditions:
- A serious problem in health or development
- At risk for one of these problems
- A serious issue in behavior or emotions
- A need for health and related services more than those generally needed
For example, premature infants, a family that just learned their child has asthma or autism,
and teens with diabetes may all receive Children with Special Health Care Needs services.
Very often, a family needs help to understand the health care their child needs. A family
new to the area, a family that does not speak English, and a first time parent may all benefit
from Children with Special Health Care Needs services for their special needs child.
To qualify for the limited and restricted funding, the family must have a limited income.
No income restriction for Public Health Nursing visits.
A newsletter for healthcare providers is mailed to Snohomish County providers
4 – 6 times each year in partnership with the Snohomish County Infant Toddler
Early Intervention Program. Child Health Notes provide information for early
identification and management of special health and developmental concerns.
Formatted as a concise double-sided newsletter, each Child Health Note covers
a specific topic and includes contact information for local, state, and national