DPH: Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Moving Into Adult Health Care Guides

Connecticut Kids As Self Advocates (CT-KASA) has created three information booklets on health care transition:  one for youth with or without disabilities; one for parents of youth with or without disabilities; and one for primary health care providers.  These booklets offer strategies and resources to help young adults with or disabilities, their parents, and their primary health care providers prepare for the transition to adult health care process.

Youth with special health care needs have additional concerns to address as they make plans to transition to adult life.  The Department of Public Health is fully committed to fostering a system that will provide all youth with special health care needs the services necessary to make successful transitions to all aspects of adult life including adult health care, work and independence.    


This webpage provides links to many websites focusing on successful transition for youth with special health care needs.


Connecticut Medical Home Initiative Contact Information


Connecticut Medical Home Initiative Regional Town Listings


The Child Development Infoline (CDI)

For more information on the Connecticut Medical Home Initiative for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) or to speak to a CDI Care Coordinator call CDI toll free at: 1-800-505-7000.


To learn more about Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Connecticut's Medical Home Initiative please visit our website.


Youth with Special Health Care Needs Tools and Resources


American Academy of Pediatrics Tools for Youth

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that all youth should have a medical home where care is accessible, youth/family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally-effective.

A medical home is a way you, your family and all your doctors work together to find a plan for you to reach your life goals/dreams and stay healthy in the process. It is also a way of putting all the people who can help you under one roof. Children/Youth and their families who have a medical home receive the care that they need from a pediatrician or physician (health care professional) whom they trust.

Transitions/changes are a part of life, it begins when you are born and continues through your life. A transition goal is to increase your functioning throughout life by providing you with the best health care services to help you gain independence. A medical home can help you throughout life’s transition process. You, your family and health care professionals work together in a medical home to identify and make contact with all the medical and non-medical services needed to make your daily life easier for you and your family.


Healthy and Ready to Work

Youth with special health care needs are neither CHILDREN nor ADULTS. Their issues and concerns are similar, but different from both. This pivotal time called youth should be a time in which the total environment supports the child in becoming an adult. The support should encourage the aspirations and expectations that lead to productive adulthood - or - if supports are absent, it can be a time of actions that ingrain doubt, confusion and lack of initiative.


Directions: Resources for Your Child’s Care Connecticut Edition

Directions was created for parents of children and youth with special health needs. It can help you plan and coordinate care for your child. In Directions you will find:  ways to organize your child’s health information; information about caring for your child’s special needs; resources; and tips from other parents of children with special health care needs.

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - English

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - Spanish

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - Portuguese


Connecticut’s Transition Training Manual and Resource Directory

Developed by the Connecticut Interagency Transition Task Force September 2004.


Connecticut Association on Higher Education and Disability (CT AHEAD) 

Connecticut AHEAD is a statewide organization of professionals committed to full participation in higher education for qualified individuals with disabilities. The Association is a vital resource, promoting excellence through education, communication, and training.   


The National Center for Secondary Education and Transition

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.


The Youthhood Web Site

The Youthhood Web site is a dynamic, curriculum-based tool that can help young adults plan for life after high school. It was designed by a talented group of staff at the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, which is located at the University of Minnesota.


The Health Care Transition Initiative at the University of Florida


The mission of the Health Care Transition Initiative at the University of Florida is to increase awareness of, gain knowledge about, and promote cooperative efforts to improve the process transitioning from child-centered (pediatric) to adult oriented health care. Our vision is to improve the transition process for all adolescents and young adults, although our current efforts focus on those with disabilities and special health care needs.


Activities carried out through the Transition Initiative include research, product development, and networking. For more specific information on these activities follow the links below.


The Transition Initiative is a multidisciplinary team effort of John G. Reiss PhD, Randy Miller and Robert Peck.

The Adolescent Health Transition Project at the University of Washington, Seattle

The Adolescent Health Transition Project is designed to help smooth the transition from pediatric to adult health care for adolescents with special health care needs. This site is a resource for information, materials, and links to other people with an interest in health transition issues.


Family Village A Global Community of Disability - Related Resources

Family Village is a global community that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for persons with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide them services and support.  This website includes informational resources on specific diagnoses, communication connections, adaptive products and technology, adaptive recreational activities, education, worship, health issues, disability-related media and literature, and much more!


Transition to Adulthood: A Critical Milestone

Transition to Adulthood: A Critical Milestone, was presented to help prepare special needs youth for the transition from adolescence to adulthood.  Participants included young adults, their families, their providers, care coordinators and community outreach workers.


Transition is the deliberate, coordinated provision of developmentally appropriate and culturally competent health assessments, counseling and referrals. A critical component involves children, families and providers acquiring the required skills to transition those children to adulthood and allow them to manage their own condition and their lives. 


Workshop topics included transitioning from:

·         Pediatric to adult medical services

·         Pediatric to adult behavioral health services

·         School to work

Presented on December 6, 2007 at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden, CT. 

The workshop was sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Public Health

and the United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1 Child Development Infoline in

partnership with CT-Kids As Self Advocates (KASA). 


PowerPoint’s (PDF files):



Transition Planning for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities:  Information for Families and Teens

BUILDING A BRIDGE From School To Adult Life For Young Adults With Disabilities In Connecticut

A Directory of Transition Programs in College, University or Community-Based Settings in Connecticut

A Consensus Statement on Health Care Transitions for Young Adults With Special Health Care Needs Pediatrics 2002;110;1304-1306 DOI: 10.1542/peds.110.6.S1.1304



Connecticut State Agency Resources


Connecticut State Department of Social Services Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) creates opportunities that allow individuals with disabilities to live and work independently. The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services has three components: Vocational Rehabilitation Programs; Disability Determination Services; and Independent Living Programs.

The CT Tech Act Project (CTTAP) operates out of BRS. The goal of CTTAP is to help individuals with disabilities of all ages and all disabilities, as well as family members, employers, educators and other professionals have access to Assistive Technology devices and services.

Vocational Rehabilitation Job Creation Tax Credit Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation Job Creation Tax Credit Program provides incentives to Connecticut businesses that hire new employees that are receiving vocational rehabilitation services from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services within the Department of Social Services or from the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Under this program employers are eligible for a $200 per month tax credit for each new qualifying employee they hire. Click on the link above for the program guidelines, application and program contact.



Related Links

Please send questions and comments about this website to:
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program
Public Health Initiatives/Family Health Division
State of Connecticut Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Avenue MS#11MAT
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Content Last Modified on 10/9/2013 8:23:09 AM