New resource guide for children with special needs launched

Allegheny County Family Resource Guide is Directory of Services and “User Guide” for families of children with special health care needs, developmental delays and disabilities

It’s here.

A new website – – to help point families in the right direction to the services and support they need has been launched.  Whether family members are dealing with many questions after an initial diagnosis, seeking options for medical care and support, looking for educational and therapeutic support, trying to understand public benefits or seeking support groups, the Allegheny County Family Resource Guide is devoted to providing parents and family members with a place to turn for special needs support.   

A printed edition of the Allegheny County Family Resource Guide will be published in late 2012.

 The Allegheny County Family Resource Guide is sponsored by a consortium of service agencies and providers. The Allegheny County Department of Human Services serves is the home base for the project.

Leadership for the project is provided by a steering committee representing medical, educational and support service providers as well as family members. Their mission is to ensure the availability of an updated, comprehensive, print- and electronic-format guide to Allegheny County families of children ages birth – 21 with developmental delays, special health care needs or disabilities.

“Finding out that your child will have special challenges in his/her life can be overwhelming to families. The Family Resource Guide provides an invaluable tool to help families find their way through complex systems to the services and supports that will benefit their child and support their family,” said Julie Hladio, Family Advisor, Alliance for Infants and Toddlers.

   The Allegheny County Family Resource Guide website has a modern, colorful design and is divided into six sections:  Early Intervention; Medical Care: Medical Insurance and Benefits: Family Support; Educational Support; and Transition to Adulthood. These are major systems that families of children with special needs must navigate.

The new website offers quick and easy access to information and resources in family-friendly language.  Additionally, it serves as an educational tool for agencies that work directly with families.

When published in late 2012, the 150-page printed guide, will be provided to families at selected locations. 

For more information about the Allegheny County Family Resource Guide, contact John Krysinsky, at (412) 350-7079 or


Family Resource Guide Steering Committee and Partnering Organizations:

  • Judy Barricella, Chair, Allegheny County Disability Connection
  • Sheila Cannon, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  • Mary Figlar, Allegheny County Office of Intellectual Disability
  • Anne Fogoros, United Way of Allegheny County
  • Julie Hladio, Alliance for Infant and Toddlers
  • Beth Lewis, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC 
  • Linda Marino, Jewish Family and Children’s Service
  • Mary Ann McGuirk, UCP/CLASS
  • Christine O'Brien, The Children's Institute
  • Peggy O'Malley, Allegheny County Health Department
  • Corrine Putt, PA Department of Health
  • Terri Reighard, Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health
  • Lorie Turian, The Watson Institute
  • Craig Williams, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children
  • Sharon Wolf, Western Pennsylvania Spina Bifida Association