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In the Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Family Voices Provides Support to Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs by its Network of Affiliates plus Partners

Whenever catastrophe strikes, families of youngsters plus youth with specialized healthcare demands (CYSHCN) plus disabilities is toughest hit considering they shortage specialized supplies, equipment, plus healthcare services important to everyday lifetime. Of the 100,000 folks displaced or left homeless because a happen of Hurricane Sandy (1), statistically it is very probably which around 24,000 of them were kids (2), at smallest 14% of these youngsters have specialized healthcare demands or disabilities (3). It is additionally probably which virtually 30,000 of the 850,000 persons evacuated before Hurricane Sandy (1) were youngsters plus youth with unique healthcare demands or disabilities. Even whenever these youngsters return to their homes, the evacuation can have durable impacts about their wellness, both emotionally plus physically.

Relief agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, plus nearby churches will not have the specialized knowledge to find plus offer the appropriate resources to these families plus kids because promptly because potential. So, surrounding agencies which focus inside assisting families of CYSHCN or disabilities provide important help, source staminon.

For illustration, inside New Jersey, immigrant families of kids with unique demands inside the Winning Angels Family Support Group of hard-hit Hudson County received direct aid within the Family Voices State Affiliate, the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). Henry Tejada, bilingual Family Resource Specialist, went to families homes delivering water, food, plus supplies; checking about their additional needs; plus even transporting a few of those to safer places. SPAN equally developed a family tip sheet, inside English plus Spanish, and a resource sheet for agencies using families whom have kids with unique requires, plus posted it about their Facebook page plus webpage.

Diana Autin, Executive Co-Director of SPAN NJ said:

Now which the offices are open again, though with a skeleton team (because nearly all of the staff continue to be without electricity, hot water, heat, plus telephone or web services), you are hearing from families that have lost equipment, specialized foods, etc. plus are assisting to connect those to the resources which may address those specialized demands instantly. We are achieving out from the volunteer SPAN Resource Parent network plus neighborhood district Special Education Parent Councils to share info plus supply assistance. We are furthermore touching base with different agencies like the county Special Child Health Services Case Management Units to ensure they are accessible to help families.

However, surrounding agencies can not have all info required to aid families inside their regions many effectively, very when they havent earlier offered help throughout disasters of synonymous magnitude.

Family Voices Executive Director Lynn Pedraza said:

Through its nationwide network of State Affiliate Organizations, and also the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs) you function with about the nation, Family Voices can channel necessary info plus resources where they require to go at this important time. There is not a have to reinvent the wheel inside the midst of the catastrophe the family-run companies inside different states have the experience plus are happy to share it. Family Voices assists by connecting them, plus organizing the info. When youre inside the center of the catastrophe, its significant to recognize we have neighbors with experience that are standing by to aid we by it.

To find a Family Voices State Affiliate Organization or F2F HIC for a specific state see the Family Voices website at http://www.familyvoices.org/states.

Karen Scallan, System Director of the F2F HIC inside Louisiana, Family Voices' regional State Affiliate Organization, responded to requests for info by sharing her hard-won experience with synonymous concerns throughout Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, plus Isaac:

Donated supplies could are expired or not inside superior condition, when they are equipment donations. I had this experience inside Katrina. We recommend we have persons contact their insurance providers plus Medicaid for substitution products or supplies initially. The Developmental Disabilities Councils might moreover get income within the federal level for F2F HICs or others to go into shelters plus find people with disabilities that require assistance. Check with them.

Scallan moreover offered suggestions for how SPAN NJ plus family companies inside alternative states many affected by the storm can aid relief agencies offer triage for people with disabilities. And she forwarded documentation of relief procedures plus resources, plus offered different guidance plus instantly valuable info.

Additional experience, comfort, plus help flowed instantly from the Family Voices correspondence network spurred by the affiliate inside North Dakota, plus reinforced by SAOs/F2F HICs inside states like Alaska, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, plus Indiana.

Josie Thomas, Executive Director of The Parents Place of Maryland, Family Voices' regional SAO as well as the F2F HIC because state, said:

While you inside Maryland didn't obtain the hit which NJ plus NY did, you have several families about the Eastern Shore whose homes are inundated, or that are without energy, phones, plus drinkable water. Schools have been shut so that they is employed because shelters. For those of we that are responding to the requests for info regarding Sandy plus emergency resources, you thank we. We are providing these significant info for all you because you function by the mess Sandy left behind.

Amy Westfall, Family Support System Manager at Stone Soup Group inside Alaska, Family Voices' SAO plus F2F HIC partner because state, summed up the sentiments several were feeling regarding the value of the help network:

In Alaska, you dont have countless all-natural disasters nevertheless you have damage caused by flooding plus winds, thus you have many experience. SPAN NJ plus others using the folks affected by Hurricane Sandy, in the event you require anything more throughout all this, merely ask. Were all here. Im happy you have this network.

There is 1 Family-to-Family Health Information Center inside every state as well as the District of Columbia. These agencies are networked together plus get help from the National Center for Family plus Expert Partnerships, a system of Family Voices which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health plus Human Services Maternal plus Child Health Bureau. For a short review of the NCFPPs function observe this 3-minuteYoutube movie, http://tinyurl.com/NCFPPwork .

Family Voices has equally introduced the Family Voices Families Helping Families fund to raise cash which might go straight to SAOS plus F2F HICS inside the states affected by Hurricane Sandy to supply relief to CYSHCN and/or disabilities inside these regions. Donations is chosen to aid with immediate requires for families, like specialized equipment, foods, treatments, plus clothing. The funds can moreover be selected to aid families discover shelter plus services, access plus complete applications for insurance reimbursement, FEMA assistance, plus Medicaid services.