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Welcome

Who We Are : Family Voices of Wisconsin is a statewide network of families of children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities and those who work on their behalf. We support families through education, training and leadership opportunities so that families can be effective and informed navigators of their child’s system of care.  
Family Voices of Wisconsin also works to inform and educate health care providers, local, state and national policy makers and administrators about issues that affect children and youth with special health care needs.

Family Voices of Wisconsin is an affiliate of the national Family Voices (www.familyvoices.org) and we are the home to Wisconsin’s Family to Family Health Information and Education Network.

We work closely with the Regional Centers for Children with Special Health Care Needs around Wisconsin to make sure families find the resources they need.

Our Successes! Family Voices of Wisconsin has been instrumental in working with state policy makers to improve access to community-based services for children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. The 2009-2011 Wisconsin State Budget contains funding to increase the number of children’s long-term support waiver slots by 1000 over the next 4 years (which decreases waiting lists). Family Voices of Wisconsin co-director Liz Hecht was instrumental in bringing this issue to the attention of policy makers and working to ensure that it was included in the state budget. Family Voices of Wisconsin also holds listening sessions, focus groups and regularly surveys families to determine the barriers families face to receiving services and supports for their children.  We communicate with state and national policy makers and bring these issues to their attention.

By working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Regional Centers for Children with Special health Care Needs, the Birth-to-Three Program, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, and other advocacy organizations,  Family Voices is truly a strong voice  for families. 

Over the last 5 years Family Voices of Wisconsin has educated hundreds of parents and providers around Wisconsin about health care and community-based services and systems through our “Did You Know, Now You Know” trainings.  These trainings, held around the state, are run by parent trainers who are parents of children with special health care needs and/or disabilities.
Family Voices of Wisconsin also provides training and leadership opportunities for parents. Most recently, parents from around the state participated in our “Advocacy for Change” training which included visits with their state legislators.  A nationally renowned speaker on effective advocacy skills energized the group. According to participants, “Advocacy for Change” was very empowering and gave them the confidence to speak with legislators about their family’s story and to advocate not only for their child but for all children with special health care needs.