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Find help: Parenting with Extra Challenges
Mental illness or disability can add further challenges to parenthood.

Here we list a few valuable organizations that have proven to help families get through these special challenges. 

Stronger Starts by First 5 California Powered by Cell-Ed
First 5 California has partnered with Cell-Ed to provide parents and caregivers with a free learning program focused on helping children thrive.
Enter your phone number and then use PIN 9250 to join the program and select your course.
California Independent Living Centers (only available in English)
How can they help?
California’s State Independent Living Council (SILC) is an independent state agency that creates ways to enhance the ability of people with disabilities. Their website’s locator tool can help you find a center right in your county.
California Kinship Navigator Program (only available in English)
How can they help?
Edgewood Kinship Support program offers a variety of services to family members who have taken on the task of being the sole caretaker of children in their family. Services include food and supplies, parenting and educational workshops, caregiver support groups, and plenty more! If you or another family member are providing for a child(ren) due to a member of your family not being able to raise their child(ren) the Kinship Support program offers resources and support to help with the new adjustment.
Who can apply?
There is no application for this resource. However, to participate in the program, you must live in San Francisco or San Mateo county. The kinship caregiver must also be the primary caregiver and guardian of the child(ren) to be eligible.
The Help Group (only available in English)
How can they help?
The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States serving children, adolescents, and young adults with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse, and emotional challenges.
Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) (only available in - English)
How can they help?
Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) provides telephone communication access for all deaf and disabled California residents.
For more information and to learn the 3-step process on how to receive a specialized telephone (at not cost to you!), visit the website link above.
Disability Rights California (only available in English)
How can they help?
The Disability Rights of California (DRC) is a protection and advocacy agency aimed at providing services and support to children and families with disabilities. Through outreach, education, and policy making, the DRC works to empower people to self-advocate for themselves and to make legal changes to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.
California Early Start
How can they help?
California’s Early Start program is an early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities, along with their families.
Who can apply?
To determine eligibility, an assessment is completed at your local regional center. To find a center near you, visit the DDS website.
National Council for Adoption (only available in English)
How can they help?
This website provides information and support services for adoptive families, birth parents, adopted children, and anyone else affected by adoption.
Through the Looking Glass (only available in English)
How can they help?
Since 1982, Through the Looking Glass (TLG) services children, parents, and grandparents who have a disability or medical condition. TLG provides trainings and workshops, consultations, research, and scholarships to students of parents with disabilities.
If you or your child has a disability, Through the Looking Glass helps connect parents to the right services to better enhance the quality of life for your family.
Department of Social Services
How can they help?
The California Department of Social Services offers a variety of support programs for foster care, including how to become a foster parent, transition age youth supports, and wraparound services.
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