SOUTH CAROLINA

1800 St Julian Place Suite 104
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone:  (803) 252-0914Fax:  (866) 420-4082Toll-Free:  (800) 578-8750
Primary Contact(s):
Amy Nienhuis (803) 252-0914 - ED
Tracie Hayward (803) 252-0914 - F2F Manager
Grant Abstract Summary:
SC has over 382,000 children and youth under 21 years of age who have a disability, as reported by the SC Budget and Control Board. SC has experienced significant budget cuts in state agencies that serve families with CYSHCN, resulting in reduced services and resources. Family Connection of South Carolina seeks to improve the overall quality of life for the child and/or youth with special healthcare needs through parent support. The SC F2F HIC strives to provide health care information, education, training and parent to parent mentoring to families of children with special health care needs. The goal will be to build parent/professional partnerships at all system levels to promote positive health outcomes for all SC CYSHCN.

Activities/Methodology: With over 739 volunteer Support Parents, FCSC is able to match parents with many diverse needs and concerns. As the South Carolina Family-To-Family Health Information Center (SC F2F HIC), FCSC will build upon the existing support for families and become known equally for the information and education that both parents and professionals can receive through the center. The proposed project relies heavily on the talent and expertise of families of children with special health care needs in the provision of technical assistance, training and mentoring.

A key strategy within these methods is working in partnership with other organizations. Family Connection of SC (FCSC) has established relationships with professionals who value the partnership with families to guide policy and programs including state agencies, institutions of higher education, and organizations that serve CYSHCN and their families FCSC also has parents who recognize the importance of having a voice in all systems levels and understand family centered-care. Our efforts to increase family/professional partnership at all levels will contribute to increased access to comprehensive services through the medical home; early and continuous screening, evaluation and diagnosis; adequate public and/or private financing of needed services; organization of community services so that families can use them easily; and successful transition of CYSHCN to all aspects of adult health care, work, and independence.
Highlighted Activity:
Hopes and Dreams Annual Conference
Our 2014 annual conference, Hopes & Dreams, was attended by more than 400 parents and professionals who care for children with special needs. This is a 2-day conference offering over 64 workshops and providing resources from 40 exhibitors. Workshops explored the issues and challenges families face in caring for children of all ages with developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses and long-term health needs. Topics ranged from Autism 101 and parent wellness to managing anxiety and feeding the picky eater. The conference featured keynote speaker Julie Petty of Fayetteville, AR. Ms. Petty, who has cerebral palsy, is a state leader in the self-advocacy movement encouraging people with disabilities to take greater control of their lives.