Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Systems Development Group



 Highlights Highlights

Maternal and Child Health – Children with Special Health Care Needs 

We want to improve community-based services for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) to improve systems of care. This includes clients receiving health care benefits through the Health and Human Services Commission’s CSHCN Services Program.

Title V performance measures drive our work. These performance measures align with priorities identified through a comprehensive needs assessment process. We report progress on performance measures annually to the federal government.  

CSHCN Performance Measures of the Texas Title V Block Grant include:

  • Percent of adolescents with and without special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to adult health care;
  • Percent of children with and without special health care needs having a medical home; and
  • Percent of children and youth with special health care needs and their families who received supports and services necessary to be integrated into their communities.

Other national, state, and community agencies support the progress on CYSHCN performance measures. Program activities are planned and implemented in partnership with stakeholders including:

  • Families;
  • Community organizations;
  • Universities;
  • National technical assistance centers; and
  • Other state agencies and programs.  

CSHCN Systems Development Group Areas of Focus


Due to advances in health care, CYSHCN are living longer, healthier lives. Most CYSHCN survive into adulthood. This highlights the need for adult care transition services and support. Transition is a dynamic, lifelong process. You need to meet a youth and family’s individual concerns as the youth moves from childhood to adulthood.

In Texas 18.6% of CYSHCN received services necessary to transition to adult health care (compared to 22.9% nationally). 

Medical Home

CYSHCN who receive care in a medical home are more likely to meet other Core Systems Outcomes. A medical home is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care. It facilitates partnerships between patients, physicians, and families. Care in a medical home should be:

  • Comprehensive;
  • Coordinated;
  • Continuous;
  • Accessible;
  • Family-centered;
  • Culturally competent; and
  • Compassionate.    

In Texas, 45% of CYSHCN received care in a medical home (42.3% nationally).

Community Inclusion

CYSHCN have the same needs as typically developing children. They need inclusion in social, recreational, and other community activities. All families contribute to and are affected by their communities. This includes families with CYSHCN. We support accessible and welcoming communities. We also promote activities that are inclusive and can lessen the sense of isolation experienced by many CYSHCN and their families.

In Texas, 55% of CYSHCN caregivers report feeling isolated because of their child's disability. Over a third do not feel a sense of belonging to their community.      

The Texas Department of State Health Services provides external links as resources but does not endorse any site. For more information about Children with Special Health Care Needs, Maternal and Child Health, or maternal and child health in Texas, please email or call 512-776-7373.