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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Concrete Supports for Parents

Beyond social support from friends and family, parents also need useful information about resources for their family.

Family crisis can arise because of lack of basis needs: Food, shelter, heat, electricity, or transportation.

Most communities have resources to assist families in crisis and to avoid a potential crisis whether the potential crisis is losing your housing, needing food, or needing access to specialized services for a family member.

Ask service people for specific information.

  • "Is there a food bank where I can get food for dinner tonight?"
  • "Where is the office where I can sign up for Food Stamps?
  • "Can you give me directions?”
  • "Can you recommend the name of a child psychologist or family counselor"
  • "Do you have written information on effective discipline for my six year old?"

Make sure that you understand the information provided. If you are not sure, ask more questions.

Some Helplines that may provide needed information for your family:

Family Health Line (800) 451-2229
Statewide, free hotline offering counseling information and referrals about pregnancy, infant, and toddler issues. Helps to improve the health status of Florida's pregnant women and their children by providing callers with information on helpful community resources and answering basic questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth education, and other pregnancy-related concerns.

Florida Central Directory/Florida directory of Early Childhood Services (800) 654-4440
Provides statewide information on disability and special health care needs services, advocacy, counseling, diagnosis/evaluation, early intervention services, education and training, equipment, medical screening, special education services, support groups, and therapies for children and youth birth to 21 years of age. Families can call one number and be transferred electronically to Early Steps, Florida Diagnostics Learning Resource System (FDLRS) and Early Learning Coalition/Inclusion Contacts other programs as appropriate and provided verbally or by e-mail per request.

Florida's Office of Early Learning (866) 357-3239
Provides information about state funded early learning programs, such as: the School Readiness, Voluntary Prekindergarten, Early Head Start, and Even Start programs. Local Child Care Resources and Referral office can also provide you with creative financial assistance options and community resources that may ease your financial burden.

Florida 2-1-1 (Just dial 211)
Provides free, confidential information and referral services. Trained professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide crisis counseling and help callers identify and connect with health and human service programs that can meet a variety of needs including food, housing, employment, health care, and more. Services are available statewide through any cell phone provider as well as through landlines in 58 of Florida's 67 counties.