WHAT ARE F2F HICs?
Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs) are non-profit organizations that help families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and the professionals who serve them. Because the health care needs of CYSHCN are chronic and complex, parents and caregivers are often challenged with finding the resources to provide and finance health care for their children. F2F HICs are in a unique position to help families because they are typically staffed/run by parents of CYSHCN themselves, and as parents, they have traveled through the maze of services and programs designed to help CYSHCN. Staff at F2F HICs understand the issues that families face, provide advice, offer a multitude of resources, and tap into a network of other families and professionals for support and information.
HOW IS THE OK F2F FUNDED AND WHAT TYPE OF HELP IS PROVIDED?
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) provides the primary funding support for F2F HICs, as authorized by the Family Opportunity Act (FOA), legislation signed into law in 2006 (as a part of the Deficit Reduction Act). Through this funding, HRSAs MCHB supports F2F HICs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By 2009, all states and the District of Columbia should have FOA funded F2F HICs.
Additional funding for the OK F2F is raised through special events, community grants, and contracts from The OK Dept. of Human Services Developmental Disabilities and Children With Special Health Care Needs Divisions, The OK State Department of Education and the OU Center For Learning and Leadership.” If you would like to partner with the OK Family Network, you may make a donation by clicking here.
The OK F2F provides assistance in a variety of ways, including support and referral through direct telephone, e-mail or in-person contact, training through workshops, advocating for and connecting families with resources, running listservs and websites, and developing newsletters and family-friendly publications.
HOW CAN THE OK F2F SUPPORT YOU?
Typical questions asked of the OK Family Network F2F Staff include:
- Can you help me find another family to talk to who has a child with similar issues to mine?
- Who can help me understand my child’s disability?
- How can I keep up with all this paperwork?
- Do you know where I can get training to help me to be a better advocate for my child?
- What are the eligibility requirements for Medicaid? How do I apply?
- What is Title V and what programs do they have for children?
- Is there a way to keep my child’s longtime pediatrician when my job requires that we switch insurance plans?
- Who can help me find a way to pay for my child’s expensive medications?
- Where can I find safe, affordable child care for my child, whose medical condition requires trained caretakers?
- Is there a place in town that fixes wheelchairs? Loans equipment? Makes ramps for homes?