Support for Families and Caregivers

Parent Partners: Parent Partners are parents of children with special healthcare needs who have lived experience and professional training to support other caregivers on their journey. Families can connect with parent partners virtually if they need resources or emotional support during this time. If you would like to talk to a Parent Partner please send an email to: Connect@montanaparentpartners.org

Circle of Parents: Circle of Parents is a caregiver led support group that provides a friendly, supportive environment to parents and caregivers. During Shelter in Place they will be offering virtual meetings. For more information, visit the Circle of Parents website, email at hstenson@butte4-cs.org or call 406-723-4019.

Medical Home Portal: The Montana Medical Home Portal had great information about diagnosis and care, as well as local resources for you and your family, and important information about Covid-19. For more information, visit the Medical Home Portal Page.

Hands & Voices: Hands & Voices is a non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information, visit the Hands &Voices Website, email mthandsandvoices@gmail.com, or call at 406-239-3076.

F2F: The Montana Family to Family Health Information Center (MT F2F) is led by experienced Montana families.  Family members and caregivers can call the F2F team to get help finding resources, locating providers, or forging a supportive connection with a family who has faced a similar situation. For more information, visit the F2F Facebook page, email montanaf2f@umontana.edu or call at 406-243-4570. 

MonTECH: is Montana's free assistive technology (AT) and adaptive equipment loan program. The program houses equipment Montana families can borrow, and provides free training on that equipment (in person or online).  For more information, visit the MonTECH website, or Facebook page, email at montech@mso.umt.edu or call 406-243-5751.

The Bright App: The Bright App can help you find a mental health provider for you or your child. You can search by specialty, location, gender, and accepted insurance. View the Bright App.

YBGRConnect: Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch has created a simple and easy way to assist families in finding the right services needed, provide crisis management and family support, and provide fast assess to mental health professionals. Simply call or text (406) 350-7650 or email connect@ygbr.org to speak with someone about available resources. Go to the YBGRConnect website for additional information.

Telework Assistance Grants Available for Montanans with Disabilities: DPHHS has Telework Assistance Grants of up to $1,000 per individual now available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division. This funding will go towards purchasing assistive technology equipment to assist Montanans with disabilities in maintaining telework opportunities.  If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity please call 1 (877) 296-1197 or email vrinfo@mt.gov

No Kid Hungry Summer Meal Text Line: Montana Families can find free summer meals via text message. This service is free, and open to anyone. A parent, grandparent or caregiver can simply text the word “FOOD” to 877-877 and the system prompts them to provide their address or zip code, which is used to provide the location and service times of up to three nearby summer meals sites. To find detailed information visit the Summer Meal website.

Financial Resilience Center:National Disability Institute (NDI) is offering resources to help those with disabilities and chronic health conditions navigate financially during COVID-19. These resources including free financial wellness training, and free professional financial counseling. For further information visit the NDI website.

AUCD Webinars: The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has created a 4-part webinar series that reviews disability inclusion as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak with a variety of tips and information for families. To view the webinars, visit the AUCD website.

Comprehensive COVID 19 Resource List: This is a comprehensive resource list that was built by the team at Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research at UMass Medical School. This list was created to support youth, young adults, families, colleges, educators, employers and their supporters. To view the spreadsheet, visit the resource guide.

Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's HealthThis foundation has created a page dedicated to COVID 19 that contains information for families, caregivers, state agencies, and advocates for children with special healthcare needs. Resources are updated regularly. For more information, visit the LPFCH website.

Child Care Connections: This page has a variety of great resources for families, children, and child care providers to stay safe, healthy, financially sound during COVID-19. There are also a number of activities and books for children to stay busy and educate during this time. Visit the Child Care Connections website.

Teaching Through the Digital Divide: Common Sense Media has long tracked the homework gap and has now become a learning gap, leaving the disconnected behind. This is just a research link to show how the lack of internet access is affecting student learning. Educators and parents have shared info on how this research is affecting them across the country. Click Here for the link to the statistics and stories by state. You can learn more about the Digital Divide by going to www.commonsensemedia.org.

Child Mind Institute: The Child Mind Institute offers telehealth evaluations and treatment for ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders and learning disorders. They also offer coping advice and tools for parents and children during this time. For more information visit the Child Mind Institute website.

Zero to Five: Zero to 5 offers a list of Montana and community specific comprehensive resources to support children, families, and providers during this time. These resources include free internet/phone provider resources for Montana families, and support during school closures such as free lunches, or remote activities.  For more information visit the Zero to Five website or call 406-513-1115.

Steps online Guides to Public Assistance: Information and advice on everything from affordable housing and utility assistance to food security and childcare help. Learn how and where to apply and how to get the help when you and your family need it. There is resources on how to find child care assistance, food security, affordable housing and utility bill assistance and how the programs work. Go to the Steps website for more information and how to apply for resources.

Montana Family to Family Health Information Center: We have just received the 2020 Cares Act Telehealth Award and have been granted the opportunity to allow families to borrow laptops, tablets, headsets with mics and hot spots (for homes with spotty internet access)! Families will be able to borrow these devices so they can better participate in therapies and medical appointments remotely. In exchange for borrowing these items, we ask families caring for someone with a disability to participate in a brief survey. There are seven questions, and no identifying information is required apart from state and zip code. The questions all pertain to issues families may encounter in accessing telehealth (I.E. don’t have a device, don’t have internet, don’t understand how to use a device or ask for a telehealth appointment.) It only takes 3-4 minutes to take the survey. Click Here for the survey link. To borrow equipment, please visit the University of Montana Montech website for more information.

Support for Families and Caregivers who are Struggling

This is a distressing time for many of us and may be particularly difficult for people in caregiving roles and those with mental health concerns. There is support available 24/7. Please reach out if you are feeling hopeless or suicidal, or you need help supporting a loved one.

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 and TTY 1-800-846-8517 text TalkWithUs to 66746 https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness

The Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255) or text “MT” to 741741

Montana Warmline: 877-688-3377 
The warmline is not a crisis line. It is a peer support line for those looking for support in recovery.

Taking care of your emotional health:

Boys Town National Hotline for Adults and Youth: 1-800-448-3000

Montana Crisis Recovery: Free COVID-19 Support