News Release

February 15, 2007

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Keeping Kids Home: Support for Families with Children Who Have Special Health Care Needs

FARMINGTON, CONN. – A special forum to discuss ways of improving services so more families can keep their children with special health care needs at home will be held on Tuesday, February 20, from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 1C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The featured speakers will include Julie and Katie Beckett with Family Voices, a national advocacy organization that has been instrumental in passing legislation on the state and federal levels to assist families of children with special health care needs. Julie will discuss new federal legislation including the Family Opportunity Act. Her daughter, Katie, for whom the Medicaid Katie Beckett waiver is named, will talk about how critically important these services are for children and young adults like her. The waiver allows medical assistance coverage to be available for certain children under age 18 who have disabling conditions and live at home.

Other speakers include Molly Cole with the Connecticut Birth to Three Program; Meg Comeau from the Catalyst Center at Boston University, who will speak about implementation of the Family Opportunity Act in Connecticut; and Jeanne Milstein, the state’s Child Advocate, who will discuss her office’s new report on children with special health care needs.

The forum is sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Network, Connecticut Commission on Children, Office of the Child Advocate, Family Support Network, and the Family Support Council. The Developmental Disabilities Network is a partnership of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, and the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the UConn Health Center.

To learn more about the Developmental Disabilities Network and the legislative forum series visit:

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