10 Resources for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area
Kids living with chronic illnesses may feel isolated because of their condition. Parents and guardians of kids with chronic conditions may feel overwhelmed by the cost and demands of medical care, and may lack the resources to seek out or afford extracurricular activities.
Our vision at CoachArt is that one day every family impacted by childhood chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together. To support that vision, we want to share with you these 10 local resources for parents and guardians of kids with chronic illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area.
Who They Are: Support for Families of Children with Disabilities (SFCD) is a parent-run San Francisco-based nonprofit organization supporting families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need as they face challenges.
Their Mission: The purpose of Support for Families is to ensure that families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need, and the providers who serve them, have the knowledge and support to make informed choices that enhance children’s development and well-being. We promote partnership with families, professionals and the community at large, because it is through partnership that we create a community where our children can flourish.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: SFCD provides and maintains up-to-date information and resources to assist families so they can make informed choices for their children, and to educate professionals and the community-at-large in order to promote inclusion and understanding.
Who They Are: The specific purpose of Okizu is to operate peer support programs for children and families affected by childhood cancer based on the community-forming nature of a residential camp experience. Providing year-round programs to support all members of our families.
Their Mission: The mission of Okizu is to help all members of families affected by childhood cancer to heal through peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: Children who are diagnosed with cancer miss a normal childhood. Their illness, treatment, and complications can keep them from enjoying activities that often are taken for granted. And yet these children, like all children, need the opportunity to grow, experiment, and discover independence. Okizu began with the belief that a residential camp can be an ideal setting for children struggling with cancer to explore and enjoy a normal life experience while interacting with others who truly understand their illness. Today, Okizu serves all family members, including the ill child, parents, and siblings, are impacted in powerful and unique ways by childhood cancer.
Who They Are: CaringBridge offers free websites and mobile apps to keep family and friends updated during a difficult time.
Their Mission: To amplify the love, hope, and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco: Using CaringBridge, you can create a free website that has all the tools you need to keep your family and friends updated. For families struggling with the demands of childhood chronic illness, this is an excellent resource to help you:
- Share news and updates with everyone at the same time
- Communicate in a private, ad-free place
- Activate your community and coordinate help, and
- Receive emotional strength and support
Who They Are: Diabetes Youth Families (DYF) serves more than 1,500 individuals annually affected by Type 1 Diabetes (children and teens with diabetes, siblings, parents, and guardians) through resident camps and recreation programs.
Their Mission: To improve the quality of life for children, teens, and families affected by diabetes. The organization provides education and recreation within a supportive community, encouraging personal growth, knowledge, and independence.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco: For families of children affected by Type 1 Diabetes, DYF provides children, teens, and their families the encouragement and education that living with T1D requires. DYF offers camps for kids with T1D and family camps where parents and siblings of diabetic children are welcome to attend.
Scholarships are available for most programs offered by Diabetes Youth Families. You can find eligibility requirements and fill out a scholarship application here.
Who They Are: Since 2012, There With Care of the Bay Area has been providing support for families during the critical phase of a medical crisis, easing their daily stresses by providing house-cleaning service, laundry service, donated furniture delivery, lawn care, pet care during hospital stays, industrial cleaning for immune compromised children and home modifications for disability access.
Their Mission: The mission of Make-A-Wish International is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: When a child is diagnosed with a critical illness, many patients develop a compromised immune system. During crucial treatments, parents must ensure their home is clean and germ free to keep their child safe. Many families also spend long days, several times each week, at the hospital for treatments and appointments. By providing house cleaning service and other household support for families, There With Care supports parents so they can bring their children home to a safe environment. Also, when needed There With Care provides necessary home modifications for children with physical disabilities caused by the illness and treatments.
Who They Are: Make-A-Wish®Greater Bay Area is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fulfills the wishes of children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18 who have critical illnesses.
Their Mission: To engage, educate, and provoke young people and their families with excellent theatre and arts education.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: Make-A-Wish’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors, and entire communities. Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area was founded in 1984. Now one of the largest chapters nationwide, they have granted more than 8,600 wishes to date and grant more than 400 wishes per year.
Wishes are granted based on referrals. You can view eligibility requirements, learn about the referral process, and find referral inquiry forms here.
7. Family Resource Navigators (East Bay: Alameda County)
Who They Are: Family Resource Navigators (FRN) provides free education, support, and advocacy to over 2,000 families each year with children or youth with disabilities or special health care needs in Alameda County.
Their Mission: FRN makes it easier for families to navigate, advocate, get equitable access to resources – all so their kids with disabilities, development delays or special health care needs get what they need to flourish.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in East Bay: FRN is dedicated to making sure that families in Alameda County are able to help their children flourish – regardless of disability or special health care need. Services offered are designed to help families navigate school environments, health care, and benefits.
Who They Are: Bay Area Kid Fun helps families with kids find everything they need to have a great family experience throughout the San Fransico Bay Area.
Resources They Offer:
- Mothers Clubs in the Bay Area (check it out)
- Family Friendly Events and Activities
- Summer Camps
- Lessons for Children
- Family Events Calendar
- Free Events for Families
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: As one of the top family resources blogs covering the San Francisco Bay area, Bay Area Kid Fun helps families navigate the Greater Bay Area with kid-friendly events, groups, and activities. While Bay Area Kid Fun is not specifically designed for families impacted by childhood chronic illness, we think this is a valuable community resource that can help you take the stress out of planning time out and around the Bay Area with kids.
Their Vision: Every child is empowered to create a peaceful, compassionate world starting with themselves and their community.
“Peace in Oneself. Peace in the World.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
Their Mission: To spark children and families to engage in mindful compassionate action through service learning experiences, creative yoga and mindfulness programs, and heartful parenting resources. Programs are designed to be experiential opportunities to spark compassion in children and families.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: Mindful Littles believes that every child can be inspired and empowered to make a positive difference in the world, and they address this in 3 important ways: 1. Yoga, Mindfulness, and Social-Emotional Learning, 2. Engaging Service Learning Experiences, and 3. Heartful Parenting
Patient Support Services: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital provides an array of services for children and their families to help make the experience here go as smoothly as possible. These services are based on the principle of family-centered care, which recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of not only our young patients but their families too.
The Impact for Kids with Chronic Illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area: A clinic visit or hospital stay can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. USCF Benioff Children’s Hospitals provide services to help make visits or stays as comfortable as possible for patients, children, and their families. Child Life Services bridges the gaps between home, hospital, and school with age-appropriate activities designed to help young patients understand and adapt to the hospital experience—and to keep them loving life every step of the way.
When a child requires ongoing care for a chronic condition, services offered by organizations like these can make a positive impact in your everyday life. What are some of your favorite local resources for parents and guardians of kids with chronic illnesses in San Francisco Bay Area? Please share them with us in the comments.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS
Since 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with students for one-on-one or group lessons in arts and athletics. Our vision is that one day every family impacted by chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together.
CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons to chronically ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. If your child has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, we invite you to fill out a student eligibility form or get in touch to learn if CoachArt is right for your child.
Ways to Help
Do you have an artistic or athletic skill you would like to share with a child impacted by chronic illness? Become a CoachArt Volunteer.