Local Parent Support Programs
Parent Support Groups are held throughout the year by the University of Alabama ASD Clinic with the support of the Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama. Groups focus on a range of topics related to parenting a child with autism and on building social connections with other parents.
The Parent Connection Program through the CRS provides ongoing support for parents through CRS staff members who parent consultants and also have experienced raising a child with special health care needs. This program includes consultation, family resource centers, a parent connection network (parent-to-parent support), state and local parent advisory committees, CRS parent connection newsletter, and a family events calendar.
The Caregiver Wellness Initiative through the Alabama Lifespan Respite program offers Care Chats (one-on-one support hours available by phone or video conferencing) with ALR social worker staff, monthly support groups, and caregiver mental health education for caregiver wellness. Qualified caregivers seeking one-on-one counseling with a licensed mental health provider may apply for mental health counseling stipends.
Contact Person: Carley Frensley, ALR Project Coordinator
Regional Autism Network (RAN)
The Regional Autism Network (RAN) at the University of Alabama aims to connect families of individuals with autism with resources in West Alabama that might be useful for them. They also hold parent support groups every other week.
Contact Person: Dr. April Coleman, RAN Coordinator
Hearts Respite is a program though United Way that provides reimbursement for childcare to those families of a child with a disability under the age of 19 years. The Hearts Respite program allows the parent to train a caregiver of their choice in how to care for their child, then the United Way reimburses the family for their out-of-pocket child care expenses.
Aaron’s Staff – Respite Care Ministry for Children with Disabilities is a free service that provides a brief respite period for parents of children with disabilities. Respite times are held on the 3rd Sunday of each month from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Alabaster First United Methodist Church. Reservations are required.
Location: 10903 Hwy 119, Alabaster, Alabama 35007
Alabama Respite provides Emergency Respite Services for caregivers who are experiencing an emergent situation and need immediate respite assistance. Caregivers experiencing an emergency situation may apply for Emergency Respite reimbursement by using the contact information below.
Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network helps find respite providers for caregivers of a child or adult with a disability or chronic illness.
The Childcare Resources’ Supplemental Child Care Program can help low income and working Alabama families pay for a limited amount of their monthly child care costs. It is a government subsidy program that is targeted at low to moderate income residents of the state that are working, in school, or participating in job training.
The Child Care Services of the Department of Human Resources is a helpful resource in helping parents of children with disabilities navigate affordable daycares that also meet their child’s needs.
Subsidized Child Care programs are funded through the Free Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in the state of Alabama. The mission of the program is to provide Alabama’s low and moderate-income families with equal access to affordable and quality child care services as they participate in work, educational or training activities. Parents can apply for subsidized childcare online. The website also contains a directory of subsidized childcare centers in West Alabama.
Phone: (334) 242-1425 or 1-866-528-1694
Fax: (334) 353-1491
Head Start and Early Head Start Preschool programs are government supported daycare facilities provide free learning and development services to children ages birth to 5 years from low-income families. You can apply for a preschool program and view Head Start and Early Head Start centers in your area on the website.
Parenting Assistance Hotlines
Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) is a confidential phone line that allows parents of children below the age of 12 to receive helpful information and support regarding specific parenting concerns.
Parent Stress Line is free, confidential, and available 24/7.
Parenting Stress Helpline provides free, confidential counseling to anyone in need of parenting support. You have access to caring treatment specialists for one time anonymous calls or regular call backs to support you with your particular parenting or family concerns.
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline is available 24/7 every day of the year. The hotline is staffed by degreed, professional counselors. All calls are anonymous and toll-free. Translators are available upon request.
Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Push 1 to talk to a Hotline Counselor.
National Parent Helpline® provides parents access to emotional support from a trained advocate during times of parenting stress.
Hotline: 1-855- 4A PARENT or (1-855-427-2736)
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM PST to 7:00 PM PST