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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 2, No. 2
April 1997

Hotline Offers Information on Special Needs

What do you do when the child you are working with has a medical condition you know nothing about? Where can you get information about this condition to give to foster parents and others who are providing services to him?

One option is to call the Family Support Network of North Carolina. Since 1985, the Family Support Network has been providing support and information for families of children with special needs and the professionals who serve them. To meet the needs of these families, this organization maintains a network of parent-to-parent programs across the state, organizes parent/professional training activities, and runs the Central Directory of Resources.

The Central Directory of Resources (CDR) is a computerized resource that can be reached by calling (800) 852-0042. In the CDR's extensive database are printed materials about various disabilities, illnesses and conditions, as well as articles on behavior management and family issues. The CDR's database also contains a comprehensive list of agencies and organizations, in North Carolina and across the country, that provide services and support for people with disabilites.

Here is an example of a typical call to the CDR: the caller identifies herself as a social worker from eastern North Carolina. A few hours earlier, her agency took custody of a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome, and she knows little about this condition. The resource specialist informs her that the CDR has material describing the syndrome, as well as material to help the foster parents with whom she will place the child.

The resource specialist promises to send the material immediately, along with names of organizations that can provide more information about Prader-Willi Syndrome. She also encourages the caller to have the child's foster parents call the CDR if they would like to talk to another parent whose child also has Prader-Willi Syndrome.

The Family Support Network's Central Directory of Resources can be reached by calling: 1-800-852-0042 or on-line at <http://www.med.unc.edu/wrkunits/1dean/commedu/familysu/>.

1997 Jordan Institute for Families