Other families have been where you are—and connecting with them to hear about their experiences can offer you comfort, hope and an opportunity to share your concerns.
As part of the comprehensive approach to care at Gillette Children’s, we’ve curated a list of resources to help you connect with other parents.
Family Voices of Minnesota
Get advice from other parents who have experience dealing with situations like yours. Family Voices of Minnesota is a nonprofit organization that puts families with similar needs in touch with one another. It provides parent-to-parent matches with volunteers who have received special support training. Each match will look different.
For example, a match might support:
- A family receiving a new diagnosis and seeking information from a more experienced family.
- A family looking to meet another family whose child has similar needs.
- A family of a child scheduled to have surgery that wants to talk with another family that has experienced a similar situation.
Benefits of the Program
Parents and caregivers are great resources for finding answers to common questions.
Matched parents might have questions, such as:
- Can my child’s condition benefit from surgical correction?
- How will it affect growth and development?
- What will the future hold?
Although many questions are addressed during medical appointments and therapy visits, parents and caregivers might want additional information from someone who’s been there.
To request a match, email P2P@familyvoicesmn.org, or call toll free at 1-866-334-8444.
Facebook Resource Groups
Are you looking for a way to connect with people who have cerebral palsy or spina bifida and their families? Join Gillette resource groups on Facebook! These community forums are the perfect place to ask questions, share your experiences and receive support from the community.
Online Support Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Below you'll find a list of other online resources and organizations for parents or caregivers of children, teens and adults who have disabilities or complex medical conditions.
Minnesota Support Resources
- Minnesota’s early intervention system — Help Me Grow - includes two programs for eligible children. Eligible children can receive services in their home, school or child care setting. Services are free to children regardless of income or immigrant status. Call 1-866-698-4769 (GROW) for more information.
- Family Voices of Minnesota - A network of Minnesota families whose children, youth and young adults have special health care needs and disabilities.
- Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) - Economic, health and other services provided to people who have disabilities in Minnesota.
- Multilingual Human Services Referral Phone Line - The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) multilingual telephone service provides access to early childhood programs and services in 10 languages: Arabic, Hmong, Khmer (Cambodian), Lao, Oromo, Russian, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.
National Support Resources
- Family Voices - Promoting quality health care for all children and youth, particularly those with special health care needs.
- PACER Center - Created by parents of children and youth with disabilities to help other parents and families facing similar challenges.
- Parent 2 Parent USA - Emotional and informational support for families of children who have special needs.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Information about the laws and regulations that fall under the ADA.
Bilingual Children and Early Intervention Services - Bilingual children develop language skills as other children do, but there might be differences during some stages of the process. We encourage you to use the language(s) of your home with your child.
Financial Support Resources
ABLE Act 101 (PDF) - Learn about the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, legislation signed into law in 2014 that allows states to create tax-advantaged savings programs for people who have disabilities to use on expenses related to their medical condition.
Gillette Financial Resources - If you need Gillette services but can’t afford them, we’ll work with you on payment options. We evaluate each family’s situation based on income, assets and other resources. Our goal is to make each family’s payments manageable.
You might benefit from setting up a payment plan. And you might be eligible for the Gillette Assistance Program (GAP), our financial service for families who can’t afford the costs of care at Gillette.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. Learn more about SSI benefits for children who have disabilities, including how to apply.
Mental Health Resources
One of the ways Gillette Children’s provides support is by helping our patients and their families connect to needed resources and information. The list of resources below was gathered by our team of mental health experts. Mental health problems can affect anyone, can develop at any age, and can affect people’s lives in serious ways. These links seek to connect you to organizations, associations, or government mental health resources such as counseling, peer support, crisis hotlines, or other local services.
Do not hesitate to let your Gillette provider know if you or your child are having difficulties with mental health. We have a team of individuals ready to help you find the services you need. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis and urgent assistance is required, call 911, 988 (Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), or your local mental health crisis line. These lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Mental Health Resources:
- NAMI: Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
- 988: Lifeline (988lifeline.org)
- MN DHS: Coping with crisis / Minnesota Department of Human Services (mn.gov)
- MN DHS Children’s Crisis lines: Children's mental health crisis response phone numbers / Minnesota Department of Human Services (mn.gov)
- MN DHS Adult Crisis lines: Adult mental health crisis response phone numbers / Minnesota Department of Human Services (mn.gov)
- WI DHS: Mental Health: Illnesses and Conditions | Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- WI Crisis lines: Prevent Suicide Wisconsin - County Crisis Lines
- SAMSHA: What is Mental Health? | SAMHSA
- MACMH: MACMH | Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health
- National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
- Kid’s Health: http://kidshealth.org/
- Arc of MN: Home - The Arc Minnesota