SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES
We partner with families who want a guide to help them navigate the complexities of the special needs’ universe. Our planning process is designed to harmonize the aspirations of the family with the needs of their child. Kimberley Kuczawa, our SPN Family Coordinator, will work with the family from initial consultation to far beyond the completion of foundational planning. We strive to provide stability in your life as a core member of your family’s team.
It all starts with you. In order for you to ultimately make the best decisions for your child with special needs, we engage the planning process to ensure your needs are met, risks are accounted for, and long-term goals are on track. This process brings clarity and lays the foundation to implement a strategy that works for you and your entire family.
To define independence, we learn about your child’s needs & wants while exploring all government, personal & public resources. Together, we create an Independence Timeline to build a tangible path towards defined milestones.
The goal is simple: To create clarity and confidence about the future of your child’s life. It starts with a Letter of Intent to document your family’s knowledge and wishes. An estate attorney is engaged to advise and complete legal documents that will guide the team for the future. Then, we build and integrate the team for the future so that comfort and trust can be developed on your parameters.
Life is dynamic and your family’s needs will evolve. We provide ongoing support for you, your child, and the team of professionals. As your advocate, we will work to coordinate and connect your family to the resources and professionals needed throughout the journey. Our structure allows us to be as involved as you desire. Beyond scheduled check-ups, our family coordinator will be by your side when meeting with service providers and outside professionals.
It is normal to feel uncertain. Take a deep breath. Seek out the support you need both professionally and personally. Now is the time to understand your child’s diagnosis and the path forward. Identify the appropriate agencies and community resources available and begin to get involved.
The overwhelming feeling of everything may begin to take over. Your situation is now transitioning from family-based planning to the focus of your child and their educational entitlements. Get to know the key players in your child’s life as they progress through the school system, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are your child’s best advocate. Begin to build on your child’s interests and seek involvements outside of the school setting—whether that be sports or theater, there are options for everyone!
HIGH SCHOOL & GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
As your child transitions out of the school system, confusion may set in. Entitlements that were once provided now must be sought out through public agencies and support services. As your child approaches 18, consider your guardianship options and ensure your child’s eligibility for government benefits.
Adulthood starts with defining independence for your child. It is okay to be apprehensive at this stage. Use this time to create a clear vision of what your child’s future will look like. Think to yourself: Where will your child live? Will your child seek employment? What support is needed for your child to live as independently as possible? How will your child engage with peers? Embrace what is coming and begin to trial support services both you and your child are comfortable with.
It is time to put what you have been planning for to action. Thinking of life for your child beyond you can be uneasy, that is why it is imperative to have a trusting team and your wishes clearly expressed through the completion of your Letter of Intent and your estate plan.
Hello! My name is Kimberley Kuczawa. I am DVB’s Special Needs Family Coordinator. My role consists of supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. Through our time together, I hope to help you find peace of mind as we work towards the most independence and beyond for your family.
Navigating the roadmap to supporting a family is never easy. Now, add on meeting the individualized needs of a child with a disability. To some parents and families, this becomes a lifelong role faced with what seems like endless obstacles. This need for families is what has led me to an area where I feel like I can truly make a difference.
Throughout my life involvements, I have seen, and been a part of, the challenges individuals with disabilities and their families encountered. Along with these experiences, I have also been a part of the solutions. My history as a special education teacher is where my foundation was built. I am grateful for my time in the classroom, as it has led me here, where I can continue to grow my passion through the opportunity of working with families in the areas where they need it most.