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 and Youth Support Specialists
Family Support Specialists are found within family network organizations, in crisis teams, at hospital emergency rooms, in residential treatment facilities, with outpatient clinics and some specialized clinics/health 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 www.reachoutoregon.org.
Funded by OHA, Reach Out Oregon, a part of the Oregon Family Support Network, has a "warm line" at 833-732-2467, as well as a website and a chat room that:
Are answered by Family Support Specialists with special training and practical experience parenting their own children, youth or young adults with issues related to mental health disorders, substance use and the complexities of physical health.
Provide information about community-based and statewide resources.
Provide national and other information about parenting, behavioral health concerns and conditions, treatment and parent-to-parent connection.
Are intended to provide families, parents and caregivers support, hope and help to make getting care as simple, meaningful and responsive as possible.
To access these services, visit www.reachoutoregon.org or call 833-732-2467.
Oregon Family Support Network - Support for families, by families
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 to assure improved outcomes for children and youth experiencing behavioral health challenges.
- Are committed to referring families to other family networks and organizations, making 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 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 www.ofsn.org.
Resources for Oregon Health Plan families
If you are dissatisfied with services you get through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), or cannot access needed services through OHP or your CCO, you have many ways to share your concerns.
- 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 Omsbuds 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
Starting Feb. 4, 2021, you can 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 Family Partnership Specialist, Frances Purdy, 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.
- Save the dates: Add the discussion hours to your iCalendar
- Join by computer (desktop or mobile app)
- Join by phone: 1-669-254-5252 | Meeting ID: 160 468 5229 | Passcode: 861837 | One tap mobile: +16692545252,,1604685229#,,,,*861837#