Who Are Children with Special Healthcare Needs?
DHEC serves “children and youth who have or are at risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.” This widely accepted definition was developed by the national Maternal and Children Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with many health service providers and parents. A 2009-2010 national survey of families with children with special health care needs found that about 177,000 children in South Carolina (16%) under age 18 meet this definition.
DHEC services are available to children and youth up to age 21 with one or more of a wide range of medical conditions or disabilities that have lasted or are expected to last for 12 months or more. Services include information and referral, care coordination and financial assistance with payment for medical services, supplies and equipment.
Some of these children need only an accurate diagnosis, and routine treatment and monitoring. But others need life-sustaining technology, treatment, and medicines throughout their lives. Many depend on multiple healthcare providers and a combination of private and public healthcare financing and healthcare systems.
Almost all children with special health care needs, no matter the severity of their condition, live at home with their parents and brothers and sisters. About 1 in 5 U.S. households has a child with a special health care need.
For more information, email Children with Special Health Care Needs
or call us at (803) 898-0784.