Frequently Asked Questions - The following are answers to questions we hear often. This is a great place to start your research. Printer-friendly FAQs.

Is there a cost?

FV of AL logoOur services are provided free of charge to families with children and youth with special health care needs and the professionals who are working with them.

What can I expect when I call?

You will be asked some basic information to direct your call to the appropriate person. Our entire staff is comprised of parents of children/adults with disabilities themselves who understand what you are experiencing and are ready to help you help your child.

Why is family involvement important?

Teamwork and collaboration among families and professionals are essential to provide quality care for an individual child or a young adult. They are also best for the health care system as a whole. Parents, doctors, personal care attendants, and other professionals act as part of a team by contributing their own unique expertise and knowledge. Team members work together as colleagues. Recommendations from each team member are equally valued.

While professionals can provide support and expertise, families have the ultimate responsibility of coordinating all the roles of a team, acting as caregivers, advocates, and decision makers. The expertise that families bring to systems of care is as vital as that of other team members. Each family has its own values. Family members are best able to understand the needs of their child. Contributions from other team members help a family make informed decisions that are in the best interest of their child, and lead to the best outcomes possible.

How can I get health insurance for my child with special needs?

You may qualify for Medicaid which is a publicly-funded health insurance program. The state Children’s Health Insurance Program, (“ALL Kids”, in Alabama) may be another option. ALL Kids provides low-cost healthcare coverage for Alabama's children and teens whose family incomes are above Medicaid eligibility, but below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. A third possibility is the Alabama Child Caring Foundation. Contact us and we will discuss your options with you.

How can I help my teenager with special needs get ready for the future?

Transitions are happening all the time for our kids and families: new schools, new teachers, and new activities. Then as our children get older, there are new opportunities as well as new challenges with adulthood on the horizon. Transition for young adults means thinking about independence in all phases of life. Transition to adult health providers is very important, and planning for this cannot start too soon.

For some ideas, visit the Healthy and Ready to Work site (, or Alabama’s own Full Life Ahead Foundation ( to get started. We would also be more than happy to connect you to someone who has progressed down this "road" already.

How will my child’s health related needs be taken care of during the school day?

Students with chronic and complex health care needs often require specialized care at school to help ensure their health and safety. When health care needs impact the school day, an Individual Health Plan can be written as a part of either the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or as an accommodation under a Section 504 Plan. This is not necessarily an easy process, so we would be happy to discuss your needs and/or connect you to one of our partnering agencies that might be able to help you through this process.

What should I do if I am concerned about my child's development?

Contact us and we will discuss your concerns with you. We can also guide you to some resources and advise you on your options.

Where can I find a support group for families of children with my child’s disability?

Check out the links on our Resources pages for support groups and for specific conditions. You might also want to visit the following websites:

Where can I find appropriate child care for my child with special needs?

Search our Resource links under the category of “Respite & Child Care” or contact us.

We can give you the phone number and information for the Child Care Resource and Referral agency in your area.

Where can I find respite care?

Search our Resource page for a link to the Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network ( They may have a list of possible providers in your area.

You can also contact us regarding your need for respite services.

Who can help me find medical care for my child?

Finding a physician or other health provider is a very personal experience. The most important thing is finding someone that you and your child/youth feel comfortable with and that you can communicate openly and honestly together.

Look for our tip sheet "Questions to Ask a New Health Care Provider" which might also help you be prepared.


DISCLAIMER: Within this web site, there are links to "outside sites" which are not managed by the Family Voices of Alabama (FV of AL).  FV of AL does not endorse nor recommend the information or products posted on these sites, and receives no payment or other consideration for providing these links.