Special Kids, Special Care was established as a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation to provide education, support, and resources for parents and healthcare and education providers of premature, medically fragile and at-risk vulnerable infants in order to improve their health and developmental outcomes.
We know that an infant’s earliest experiences are the foundation for health, development, learning and success. We also know that parents want information that will keep their baby healthy and will support their baby’s growth and development. Thus, it is important for parents to have access to the needed support, education, and resources they desire so that they can support their infant’s health and development.
Types of Program Services
- Family Support Programs – through our Family Support Grant Program we provide infant Pak n’ Play cribs, lactation consultation, and respite care for families of premature, medically fragile, and vulnerable infants in Colorado when not available through other means. We also assist families connect with resources, services, and program and are developing other needed family support programs.
- Professional Education Programs – are provided for health and early education providers so that they have access to best practices, research, and promising practices in the care of premature, medically fragile, and at risk infants and their families.
- Every child and family has unique and individual values, capabilities, and strengths that need to be honored
- Parents deserve health care support that is provided through trusting, individualized, respectful, and coordinated relationships between family members, their providers, and their community
- Parents are the key to providing a strong foundation for a child’s future well being and potential
- Parents deserve access to early health and developmental prevention and intervention services so that they feel comfortable and confident in caring for their child
- There are many effective approaches to care for families and children. No single approach or discipline meets all the needs of all children and families. Therefore, collaboration with the family across all healthcare disciplines is very important in caring for any child and family
- Health support services that are provided to families must reflect current best practice standards, available research, as well as expert clinical opinion
Board of Directors:
Paul Egan CPA
Egan Ravarino, LLC.
Renee Charlifue-Smith MA, CCC-SLP
Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Sarah McNamee, LCSW, MBA
Owner, McNamee and Associates, LLC
Edward Hoffman, MD
Children's Hospital Colorado
Assoc. Prof. Clinical Pediatrics
Why Special Kids, Special Care?
National research shows that having a preterm or medically fragile baby is one of the most stressful experiences a parent can have. In addition, premature and medically fragile infants may be born to any mother; however, mothers with fewer resources and health disparities are at greater risk. Unfortunately, the stress and guilt parents have does not always go away after discharge from the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) especially for families with fewer resources and those who experience health disparities resulting in both maternal and paternal mental health concerns, greater infant morbidity and mortality especially due to unexpected sudden death syndrome. There are multiple efforts to prevent preterm births, support families of first time prenatal patients and provide developmental education services for eligible infants; however, there are no programs that provide services and education for parents of baby discharged from the NICU or education for those health and education providers who care for them.
Through Special Kids, Special Care we are building a network and community to provide support, education, and resources for parents of over 8,000 Colorado vulnerable premature and medically fragile infants and young children in order to assure healthier outcomes. Since 2013, we have been working with the NICU Consortium to provide quarterly educational programs for health and education providers with the goal of bringing together all the disciplines that care for these infants and their families. The NICU Consortium expanded in the last year through the work of the NICU Consortium Partnership to coordinate health and community agency efforts on behalf of families as they transition to home from the NICU. We are also working to enhance communication, coordination, and systems of transition from the NICU to home in order provide parent support and education that will impact parent’s access and understanding of available community resources and thus keep their baby healthy and optimize their baby’s development.
Special Kids, Special Care Annual Reports