Services for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHCN)

Many children and youth in the United States have special healthcare needs. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 2019-2020, 1 in 5 youth had one or more special healthcare needs.

Special needs could include any long-standing conditions such as developmental disabilities or delays, emotional disturbances, chronic medical conditions, severe mental illness, and more, according to the CDC.

The Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Program is designed to improve the health outcomes for children and youth with chronic health conditions by providing equitable access to care and services. The CYSHCN program is supported by the HRSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number B0445244, Maternal of Child Health Services.

SD Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program Services:

Department of Human Services Respite Care

Respite care allows temporary care to be provided to a child with special needs while the family caregiver is taking a break. Respite care can range from a few hours of care provided on a one-time basis to overnight or extended care sessions. Respite care is designed to help address the overwhelming feelings and stress families experience while supporting a child with special needs. For more information on the Respite Care program and other resources, visit the Department of Human Services.

Phone: 605-773-5990

Address: Hillsview Plaza E. Hwy. 34, c/o 500 East Capital Pierre, SD 57501-5070

Sanford Health Genetics Outreach

Sanford Health provides genetic outreach services to the areas of Aberdeen, Pierre, and Rapid City. The outreach is comprehensive services provided in the areas of diagnosis, prevention, and management of genetic disorders and birth defects. By contacting a genetic counselor, you can arrange an appointment at any of the outreach locations.


Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic Patient Navigation Program

The Sanford Children's Specialty Patient Navigation Program houses a registered nurse patient navigator who guides families of children with special healthcare needs through the often-complex healthcare system. The patient navigator assists families with obtaining needed referrals, scheduling appointments, preventing missed appointments, adhering to treatment plans, and acts as a central point of contact for participating families and their affiliated professionals. The program is open to income-eligible patients at the Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic.

Phone: 605-312-1000

Department of Social Services Child Safety Seat (DSS) Distribution Program

The DSS Child Safety Seat Distribution ensures children’s safety by providing child safety car seats for families that meet income eligibility. This program distributes child seats with no cost for eligible parents and children statewide. For more information on the Child Safety Seat Distribution Program, contact the program near you. For Medicaid and other DSS resources, visit the DSS.

Phone: 605-773-3165

Address: 700 Governors Drive Pierre, SD 57101

For additional resources available to families across the state, please visit Strong Families and South Dakota Parent Connection.