• Advocacy

    Having a child with special healthcare needs means becoming his or her voice. Advocacy means providing your expertise and experience in support of an issue or need on behalf of yourself or others. Following a devastating injury or debilitating illness, families are expected to make critical decisions regarding the care and safety of a loved one in spite of often having limited resources, knowledge and finances. Parents and healthcare providers, working together, can play an important role in helping to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life for children with special healthcare needs.

    The Complex Care Center at Cincinnati Children's provides resources and tools to help parents and healthcare professionals learn the skills needed to become informed, strong advocates.
  • Advocates can work on behalf of promoting global issues such as state and federal health care programs. They can also play a critical role in individual patient / family focused issues including insurance, school and access to resources. There are many resources to help parents and health care providers become effective advocates.

    One way to have your voice heard is to contact your state or federal legislator. Representatives want to know opinions on upcoming issues and legislation in order to serve their districts effectively. The following resources can help you determine your representatives in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Legislature as well as your representatives in Congress. As consumers and voters, family opinions and concerns have great influence with politicians and program directors.

    State Legislators

    • Ohio General Assembly helps you locate your Ohio State Legislators by allowing you to search by zip code or name. After you identify your legislators, you can then email your Senate and House Representatives directly from this web site.
    • The Kentucky Legislature helps you identify your Kentucky State Legislators by county and district. After you identify your legislators, you can then email them directly from this web site.
    • Access Indiana helps you find your Indiana State Legislators by zip code. After you identify your legislators, you can then email them directly from this web site.
    • USA.gov provides access to all state government web sites for comprehensive information on representatives and state agencies.

    Federal Legislators

    News concerning state legislatures and state governments often receives little coverage. You can keep current on what is happening in the nation's state capitols that may affect you and your child with special needs. Your input is important and can make a difference:

    • Governing Magazine: Today's News compiles government news from state and local officials.
    • Grasscatcher, from the National conference of State Legislatures, highlights key policy news clippings from the nation's state legislatures.
    • Stateline, a project funded by the Pew Center on the States, highlights headlines on state government news stories as well as a state news roundup featuring top stories from around the country.

    State Legislation

    Federal Legislation

    Writing to your representatives is an important way of letting them know your opinions about pending legislation. Letters and emails to your representatives can be vital in influencing how they vote.

    • Ohio General Assembly helps you locate your Ohio State Legislators by allowing you to search by zip code or name. After you identify your legislators, you can then email your Senate and House Representatives directly from this web site.
    • Ohio Legislative Service Commission provides information about specific bills (text and summaries), status reports of legislation, and helpful links.
    • Arc of Kentucky is a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of people with mental retardation and related disabilities and their families. The organization supports local chapters providing early intervention programs, services to adults, advocacy, information and referral.
    • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass provides legal assistance to lower income and other vulnerable people through direct representation, education, advice, advocacy and coordination with other community resources.
    • Legal Aid Network of Kentucky provides legal assistance to lower income individuals.
    • The Kentucky Legislature helps you identify your Kentucky State Legislators by county and district. After you identify your legislators, you can then email them directly from this web site.  
    • Kentucky state agencies can provide you with information and assistance about disability issues in your state, as well as assistance with letter writing and other legislative concerns. 
    • Kentucky Protection & Advocacy Services assists citizens of Kentucky who have a disability and are either being denied a right or are being discriminated against because of that disability.
    • Kentucky Education Rights Center provides educational advocacy resources and services to families of children with disabilities.
    • KY-SPIN (Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network) empowers and supports individuals with disabilities and their families to effectively advocate for and access needed information. 
    • The Point / ARC of Northern Kentucky provides advocacy, residential, employment and social opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.
    • Indiana General Assembly provides information on writing your legislators as well as information on new and pending legislation. 
    • Arc of Indiana is a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of people with mental retardation and related disabilities and their families. The organization supports local chapters providing early intervention programs, services to adults, advocacy, information and referral.
    • Indiana state agencies provides information and assistance about disability issues in Indiana, as well as assistance with letter writing and other legislative concerns.
    • Indiana Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low income people throughout the state of Indiana. They help individuals who are faced with legal problems that harm their ability to have such basics as food, shelter, income, medical care or personal safety.
    • Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services assists citizens of Indiana who have a disability and are either being denied a right or are being discriminated against because of that disability. They provide advocacy, information and referral, and legal representation.

    Many organizations have information, strategies and web site links to useful resources that can help you advocate for your child. 

  • Contact Us

    We want to hear from you. Email us with your feedback or suggestions for additional resources. Call our Family Resource Center at 513-636-7606 with your questions.