Due to extremely cold conditions, the City is implementing special measures to keep people who are homeless safe. If you see someone who needs shelter, call (215) 232-1984.
In effect: 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 until further notice
COVID-19: Learn how to stay safe, get vaccinated, and find testing. Visit phila.gov/covid.

Mental & physical health

Get support for a child with special health care needs

Children with special health care needs are children and youth (0–21) who have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, emotional, behavioral, and developmental health conditions.

Families raising children with special health care needs can face many added challenges. The Department of Public Health provides support to children with special health care needs and their families in several ways.


The City offers services for:

  • Families of children and youth (0–21) with special health care needs.
  • Professionals who work with families of children with special health care needs.


Parent advocate

Our parent advocate provides direct support and referrals for families raising children with special health care needs.

Our parent advocate knows what it’s like to hear about a child’s diagnosis. They understand the challenges of finding the right help at the right time. They will:

  • Help you work through the sometimes confusing systems that can help families of a child with special needs.
  • Offer you a listening ear when times get tough. When they say, “I know what you’re going through,” they really mean it.
  • Help you find the resources to get your family through a hard time.
  • Stay in touch with you to make sure you get the help you need.

Call (215) 685-5246 to speak with our parent advocate.

Philadelphia Special Needs Consortium

We convene the Philadelphia Special Needs Consortium, a forum for professionals and families to share information and network with other families, health care and insurance providers, legal advocates, and policy planners who influence care for children with special health care needs.

We hold meetings every other month, in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Anyone can join. Call (215) 685-5232 to find the date and location of the next meeting.