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Family Supports


Families, parents and caregivers play a prominent role in their children’s care and protection. Children, youth and young adults rely on their family and caregivers for emotional and financial support. At school, in health care settings and in case management settings, professionals look to the family to provide guidance and make decisions about the child’s treatment.

Because of their importance in children’s lives, the Oregon Health Authority supports families to help them advocate for their needs, navigate multiple systems and get the care they choose.

Family Support Specialists are found in many places:

  • Family network organizations, 
  • Crisis teams, 
  • Hospital emergency rooms, 
  • Residential treatment facilities, 
  • Outpatient clinics and 
  • Some specialized clinics/health services.

The Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) has funded peer delivered services provided by Family Support Specialists and Youth Support Specialists since July 2013. Coordinated care organization (CCO) members can contact their CCO to learn how to access local Family Support Specialists.

OHA provides funding for counties to deliver these services to families who do not have Medicaid.

Some private/commercial insurance plans offer coverage for Family Support Specialist services.

Each county or region may offer Family Support Specialist services through different organizations, including family organizations such as the Oregon Family Support Network. To find your local Family Support Specialist contact, visit

Funded by OHA, ​Reach Out Oregon, a part of the Oregon Family Support Network, has a "warm line" at 833-732-2467 for parents, families and caregivers. It also has a website and a chat room. 

Family Support Specialists with special training and practical experience parenting their own children, youth or young adults answer the warmline and chat room. For issues related to mental health disorders, substance use and the complexities of physical health, they provide:

  • Information about community-based and statewide resources.
  • National and other information about parenting, behavioral health concerns and conditions, treatment and parent-to-parent connection.
  • Support, hope and help to make getting care as simple, meaningful and responsive as possible.

To access these services, visit or call 833-732-2467.

The non-profit Oregon Family Support Network (OFSN) is the primary contractor for behavioral health, parenting and wellness-focused Family Support Specialist services. The network:

  • Exists to connect, empower and educate families and their communities. This ensures improved outcomes for children and youth experiencing behavioral health challenges.
  • Refers families to other family networks and organizations. They make sure they stay connected to callers until the connections are made.
  • Fulfills a significant role in facilitating family/youth voice in local and state policy making. They do this by preparing family members to serve on boards and committees.

OFSN staff members are:

  • Almost all parents (biological, adoptive, extended family and foster) or caregivers who have raised a child or several children living with mental health, behavioral and other significant health challenges.
  • Familiar with navigating the systems of behavioral health, physical health, developmental disabilities, special education, child welfare and juvenile justice.

To learn more, call 503-363-8068 or visit

You have many ways to share your concerns about the Oregon Health Plan. You can share concerns about the services you get through OHP. You can also share concerns about not being able to access the services you need through OHP.

  • ​If you are a coordinated care organization (CCO) member, talk to your CCO.
  • You can file a complaint or appeal with your CCO. If you are not in a CCO, you can file a complaint with OHP.
  • If you do not feel comfortable filing a complaint or appeal, you can contact OHA's Ombuds Program. They will listen to what happened and help make a change. They can do this without using your name or just make sure the solution gets made.

If you are not on the Oregon Health Plan, here are other contacts for sharing concerns about your experiences accessing appropriate care.

Reporting your concerns helps OHA and our partner agencies work together to improve Oregon's system of care.

A Time for Families: Weekly drop-in discussion hour for parents and family members

Join OHA by phone or videoconference to:

  • Share your questions and concerns about mental health and addiction services for children and young people, and
  • Share suggestions for how OHA can support youth, young adults and their families to help them get the right service at the right time for the duration needed.

OHA’s Director of Child and Family Behavioral Health, Chelsea Holcomb, and OHA’s System of Care policy coordinator, Hilary Harrison, will host these weekly discussion hours. Representatives from the OHA Ombuds Program and the Parent/Family Help Line will also be available to follow up with any specific immediate concerns.

  • Date and time: Thursdays, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Join by computer (desktop or mobile app)
  • Join by phone: 1-669-254-5252 | Meeting ID: 161 993 2307 | Passcode: 676907 | One tap mobile: +16692545252,,1619932307#,,,,*676907#  
  • Join by SIP:
  • Join by H.323: | Meeting ID: 161 993 2307 | Passcode: 676907
For people who speak or use a language other than English, people with disabilities or people who need additional support, we can provide free help. Some examples are:
  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Real-time captioning (CART)
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats.

For help please contact Hilary Harrison at

For Parents and Caregivers

guide cover
What if you have to take your child to the hospital emergency department during a crisis? This guide, developed with families who experienced this with their own children, explains what to expect and what you can do.

View the guide in:

If you would like physical copies of the guidebook, please contact us.


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System of Care Policy Strategist