Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Connecticut's Medical Home Initiative

Medical Home Logo for Home Page

Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition and require health and related services beyond that required for children in general. In 2018, Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health estimated that there were approximately 138,665 CYSHCN in Connecticut.

Fact Sheet CYSHCN

CMHI Contractor Contact Sheet 

CMHI Regional Town Listings 

The Child Development Infoline (CDI) 
For more information on the Connecticut Medical Home Initiative for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) or to speak to a CDI care coordinator call CDI toll free at: 1-800-505-7000.

 CYSHCN &  Title V of the Social Security Act


Connecticut Medical Home Initiative at FAVOR, Inc. can provide information on respite funds and extended services.  They can be reached by calling 860-436-6544 or toll free at 1-855-436-6544.

Respite is planned or emergency temporary relief that can be offered once or multiple times to family caregivers who are caring for individuals with special needs such as a disability or chronic or terminal illness.

Please note that due to the limited availability of funds, there is a $500 per family maximum per year for Respite funds, including camp within the availability of funds.

What is an effective system of care?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, an effective system of care for CSHCN ensures:

  • Families are partners in care.
  • Screening occurs early and continuously.
  • Families can easily use community-based services.
  • Children and youth have access to an accessible, family-centered, comprehensive medical home.
  • There is adequate insurance and funding to cover services.
  • Families and providers plan for transition to adult care and services.

 Get Creative About Respite Guide

The Get Creative About Respite Guide provides a way for you, as a family member or other caregiver, to communicate with the people who provide respite care for the child or adolescent in your life who has special needs.

Respite: A Parent's Guide

Respite: A Child/Adolescent Guide for Families and Caregivers

Directions:  Resources for Your Child’s Care:  Connecticut Edition

Directions is a guide to help you plan and coordinate care for your child or adolescent with special health care needs.   In Directions you will find:  ways to organize your child’s health information; information about caring for your child’s special needs; resources; and tips from other parents of children with special health care needs.

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - English

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - Spanish

Directions: Resources for Your Child's Care - Portuguese


A medical home is not a building, house or hospital, but rather an approach to providing health care services in a high-quality and cost-effective manner. Children and their families who have a medical home receive the care that they need from a pediatrician or pediatric health care professional whom they know and trust. The professionals and families act as partners in a medical home to identify and access all the medical and non-medical services needed to help children and their families achieve their maximum potential.

What's a Medical Home

Medical Home & Features

CYSHCN Program Forms

1) CMHI Program Application Form - English and Spanish

    CMHI CYSHCN Screener Complexity Referral - English and Spanish

* Please note both forms above (CMHI Program Application and the CMHI CYSHCN Screener)

should be submitted at the same time.

2) Respite Family Needs Checklist - English and Spanish

3) CMHI Universal Release of Information Form - English and Spanish

4) CMHI RSF Request Application Form - English and Spanish


Click on the links below to be directed to a Maven Training:



The Medical Home Advisory Council (MHAC) was established to provide guidance and advice to the CT Department of Public Health in its efforts to improve the community-based system of care for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) by ensuring their connection to a medical home that is accessible, compassionate, comprehensive, coordinated, continuous, culturally effective and family-centered.

The DPH Medical Home Advisory Council has a Family Experience Workgroup who provides consistent support for quarterly meetings and offers a gateway to additional family voices through the facilitation of focus groups on behalf of the consumer input section of the MCHBG. Parents representing different organizations are at the table including staff from the CT Family Support Network (CTSFN). CTFSN provides direct support to individuals and families in their homes and communities by sharing information and resources that empower people to make their voices heard and to become their own best advocate. The Family Experience Workgroup serves as a conduit to ensure a broad representation of family experiences are shared with Council members and to distribute materials and information gathered at MHAC and Family Experience meetings to families statewide.

The MHAC's membership includes representation from parents (families/caregivers) of CYSHCN, partners in the Connecticut Medical Home Initiative, service providers, community-based organizations, and public and private agencies.

Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their Families

This website provides links to many websites focusing on successful transition for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their Families.  


Youth with special health care needs have additional concerns to address as they make plans to transition to adult life.  The Department of Public Health is fully committed to fostering a system that will provide all youth with special health care needs the services necessary to make successful transitions to all aspects of adult life including adult health care, work and independence. 

This website provides links to many websites focusing on successful transition for youth with special health care needs.