Every child deserves equitable access to comprehensive health services

Every child is a full citizen with rights, who needs our help to achieve full inclusion and engagement in society. Every child deserves equitable access to comprehensive health services.

Health problems that adversely affect the well-being of children and youth with developmental disabilities set the stage for life as an adult that may be further, and perhaps unnecessarily, compromised. A higher number of children with developmental disabilities are socially and economically disadvantaged, and they may lack the community services or social support to access needed care. Families are relied upon to provide numerous, complex tasks related to the care of their child with periodic support from health care institutions and professionals.

There are significant challenges to ensuring health care access for children and families with special needs, here in our rural, medically underserved state. Families often struggle throughout the process of accessing care– from getting the right diagnosis, to finding specialty care, to accessing community resources for even the most basic of health services. 

Because of the nature of developmental disabilities, the nature of the “assistance” required varies from child to child and from family to family. It also varies from community to community. This confounds efforts to organize and articulate challenges to the system– because for many, these challenges depend on the health care needs and location within the state. 

This project will take the first step in a journey to working with stakeholders– parents, caregivers, providers, and advocates—to better understand, give voice to, and prioritize the challenges families have within their respective communities around the state to accessing health care. Our goal is to, with your help, improve our health care system for kids with developmental disabilities. 

Our objectives are to:

  • Raise Awareness
  • Access Challenges
  • Initiate a Public Dialogue 
  • Compile and share recommendations for improving the system for affected families
"If you're a parent, caregiver, health care provider, stakeholder, or policymaker, we'd love your input. Please complete this form, and we'll add you to our email list and check back with you to see how you'd like to be involved."
Kelli Caseman
Executive Director

Timeline

The Including All Kids project is funded by a grant from the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council. We thank them for their support.