Support for You and Your Family

Support For Your Family 2Finding emotional support and information for families of children with special health care needs is essential.

You may find that you need to look beyond your health care provider network for information and support. Talking with families who are going through similar experiences can often help you to address concerns and cope with your child’s disability and your family’s needs.

Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent is an organization that provides emotional support and information to families of children with special health care needs in Washington State. Their local county coordinators organize parent volunteers who also have children with special needs.

Using their own experience and knowledge and specific training from Parent to Parent, these volunteers can assist your family with:

  • Emotional support
  • Current information on disabilities 
  • Information on community resources
  • Parent and sibling support meetings
  • Educational workshops

You may also sign up for the Parent to Parent monthly newsletter and attend trainings to become a Parent to Parent volunteer. In additional to supporting individual families, Parent to Parent organizes and conducts presentations to parent groups, professionals and other organizations.
To learn more about Parent to Parent, visit their website at or call the Family Health Hotline ASK Resource line at 1-800-322-2588 to contact your county coordinator.

The Fathers Network

The Fathers Network provides current information and resources to assist families and care providers involved in the lives of a child with special needs.

The Network advocates for and provides resources to support fathers in caring for their children with special needs through:

  • Father support and mentoring programs
  • Printed educational materials 
  • Local, regional, and national conferences and workshops that encourage the participation of fathers
  • Informative newsletters
  • Curricula designed to enhance the involvement of fathers in the home, at school, and in health care settings
  • Providing assistance to organizations to make their services more "father friendly"

Visit for more information and for a listing of local programs.

Washington PAVE

Washington PAVE is a parent directed organization that works with families, individuals, professionals and community members in all walks of life with all types of disabilities.

PAVE's resources include:

  • A FREE lending library of books and video tapes
  • A quarterly newsletter (PAVE Pipeline)
  • A toll-free telephone number
  • The "You are the Expert" Conference
  • Bi-lingual, bi-cultural staff
  • Free and low-cost materials in a variety of formats and languages

Learn more about PAVE at or call 1 (800) 5-PARENT (v/tty).

Family to Family Health Education and Information Center

The Washington Family to Family Health Education and Information Center is directed by families who have children with special health care needs and a committee called the Washington Family to Family Network. This program provides support to families who have children with special health care needs age birth to 18 years old, and information about health care.

The Washington Family to Family Health Education and Information Center operates a listserv for families who have children with special health care needs to provide important information.

Information provided includes:

  • State and national health care
  • Health and wellness
  • Resources for families

Families can join the listserv at or send an e-mail to our list serve coordinator at

For more information call 1(800) 572-7368 (v/tty) or e-mail

Respite Services

Respite care is a service where a trained person or staff at a facility provide planned, short-term care (a few hours to a few days) for your loved one so you can have some time away from caregiving. To learn more about respite services available in your area, search the Resource Finder or call the Family Health Hotline at 1 (800) 322-2588.

Other Useful Resources

Center for Children with Special Needs

Resources for children who are deaf/hard of hearing or with other special needs

The Arc of Washington State

Family Voices of Washington

Kinship Care—resources for relatives raising children