Family Voices is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for the health and well-being of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families. We are extremely concerned about the separation of immigrant children from their families because of the dangers it poses for children with pre-existing special health care needs and the strong likelihood that it will harm the health of all of the separated and detained children. Children and youth with special health care needs include those with medical conditions, mental health challenges, and physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities. These range from the apparent (e.g., cerebral palsy or other significant physical or intellectual disabilities) to the invisible, subtle, or intermittent (e.g., autism, anxiety disorders, epilepsy, and depression). Given the prevalence of CYSHCN in the United States – about one in five children– it is inevitable that some of the immigrant children now in custody
Family Voices Indiana is a family-led organization that provides information, education, training, outreach, and peer support to families of children and youth with special health care needs and the professionals who serve them.