WI Resource for Children with Severe Disabilities

The Family Support Program of Wisconsin provides individual services and supports to families with a child that has significant needs. This program recognizes that meeting the needs of children who have severe disabilities may place hardships on a family's emotional, physical and financial resources. The Program offers:

  • Information and help in finding services and maximizing community resources;
  • Limited funding to buy needed services and goods that can't be bought through other sources; and
  • Help in linking families with other families to strengthen natural supports.

Individualized Services by Family

The foundation of the Family Support Program is the belief that parents of children who have severe disabilities best know what they need. Together they develop an individualized service plan for each family. Safety is the first priority. Home modifications, transportation, specialized equipment, nursing care and respite are examples of items and services that the program can help the family purchase.

Families share information so that the coordinators/case managers can complete the State of Wisconsin functional screen for the child's eligibility status. The screen details basic family information and the child's special abilities and disabilities. Information is gathered from a variety of resources, such as educational records or medical records. Both the physical and medical aspects of the child are addressed. The physical aspect addresses whether the child can walk, dress, bathe or toilet themselves. The mental aspect looks at the different behaviors, disorders/diagnoses and how the family addresses the behavior.

Each child and family is treated for their own unique needs based on what the family's priorities are. Formal supports include medical, social services, educational and funding resources. Informal supports include friends, family, neighbors and community groups, businesses or organizations. In some cases, the family needs direction to access community resources.

Children can be served until they graduate from school. There may be a cost share based on the amount of funding the family receives. Since Family Support Program is state funded, eligibility does not guarantee that a family receives services. Families are served on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information