Children With Special Health Needs

Children with Special Health Needs is a free public health program for families, health care providers, and communities. We support Vermont children and youth with special health needs by ensuring comprehensive, community-based and family-centered services.

We provide targeted financial technical assistance when families are experiencing challenges with health insurance benefits or accessing services and supplies they need. We provide respite funds to families who qualify so parents and caregivers can get a break. We also help bridge transitions from infancy to adulthood and everything in between.

Who is eligible? We serve those Vermont children and youth – age birth to 21 – who have a chronic physical or developmental condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.


In This Section

Our team of medical social workers are here to help children and families with special health needs, and the providers who care for them.

While all children develop at their own pace, some develop at a rate that may concern parents and providers. The Child Development Clinic evaluates young Vermont children up to about age 8.

Sometimes children need extra help to perform daily self-care skills. Children’s Personal Care Services may be available to help.

Children and their families should have the choice to live in their own homes and communities, not hospitals.

Each year a number of Vermont families learn their child has a serious lifethreatening illness. Pediatric Palliative Care program has supports to help people under age 21.

The Community Nutrition Network provides individualized nutrition services for children with special health needs who have specific growth, feeding and dietary needs, and their families.

We host two specialty medical clinics – cleft lip/palate and physiatry. There is no cost to attend these clinics, giving families access to a team of providers to support their child’s special needs.