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What to Expect After a Child is Eligible for the CLTS Program

(#4 of 8 in Series)

Reviewed June 2024

The Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Program provides funding and support for families who have children with disabilities, who are Medicaid eligible, so they can care for their children at home and participate in their communities. This fact sheet explains what to expect after your child has been found eligible for the CLTS Program.



My Child is Eligible! Now What?

Great news! You’ve applied for the CLTS Program, gone through the functional screening process, and you heard from your county waiver agency that your child is eligible. In most cases, there will be a short lag, but within a few months your child will be enrolled in the CLTS Program, and you will receive the name of your child’s Support and Service Coordinator (SSC)

Tip for Families  

If more than two months have gone by without hearing back from your county waiver agency, we encourage you to call often to find out when your child’s enrollment will start.

Your SSC will contact your family to set up an initial visit. You can meet at your home or another familiar place, like your child’s school, a library or a coffee shop. However, CLTS program regulations require at least one visit a year be in the child’s home.



What Your Child’s SSC Needs from You 

      • Share Your Dreams During your first visit, your SSC will ask how you care for your child, the areas of your life that are challenging, and the dreams you and your child have for the future.
      • Get to Know Your Child Your child’s SSC may want to see your child in setting like their school day, after-school programs or at other community activities. These visits are a good way for them to get to know your child’s abilities and challenges, as well as their likes and dislikes.
      • Deciding Together You will partner with your child’s SSC to think about long-term and short-term needs and goals for your child. Your child’s best life can be a guide when thinking about this—What would help your child enjoy activities, build relationships and learn new skills? See the Deciding Together Guide (wisconsin.gov) and Deciding Together: What It Is and What It Isn’t to better understand this collaborative process.
      • Accept Support Even if you have learned to live with the stresses of caring for your child with special needs, participating in the CLTS Program can be helpful. It’s okay to let the service coordinator know you don’t need much help right now. Together, you can brainstorm future needs. As your child grows and changes, his or her needs may expand and the CLTS Program can help, especially if you have planned ahead.



Parental Payment–Your CLTS Program Bill

Your family may be responsible for a fee or cost-share, called a Parental Payment for CLTS-funded services. This fee is based on your family’s income and the cost of your child’s Individual Service Plan (ISP). The bill will come from your county waiver agency (CWA) and will be due after your child’s ISP has been submitted and approved. Use this link to learn more about how the parental payment works www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/clts/costs.htm.



Your SSC is Your Guide on this Journey

Families new to the CLTS Program may not realize that one of its most important benefits is access to their SSC. This new partner can provide guidance to you as you navigate the CLTS Program and access other resources. Below are some examples of how your child’s SSC can partner with you and be by your side as you care for your child.

      • School IEP Meetings Your SSC can attend your child’s IEP meeting and advocate for school-based therapy, programming or modifications to meet their goals. They can remind you to ask the important questions and be another set of ears so you’re not missing anything that is discussed by the school team.
      • Medical and Therapy Visits Your child’s SSC go to medical appointments or therapy visits if you need support, especially if you are making a decision about new equipment or a new treatment plan for your child.
      • Connecting to the Community If you need ideas for things like summer programs, after-school activities or adaptive equipment, your child’s SSC can help you find resources and programs.
      • During Times of Transition The SSC can help you explore new programs or discuss options during times of transition, like the move to elementary school or high school.
      • Connect with Other Families One of the best ways to learn what works for your child is to talk to other families who have “been there.” Ask your SSC to help find another parent or family who has gone through something similar. If your SSC can’t, contact Parent-to-Parent of Wisconsin p2pwi.org or 833.361.6300.
      • When You Need Help While the SSC don’t always have a solution, they can help you find they answers when you are stuck or struggling to get what you need for your child. 

The SSC will meet with you in person each year to review and update your child’s ISP, you don’t need to wait until then to ask for their input or help. You can reach out to them any time.

Tip for Families

At your first meeting with your SSC let them know the best way to reach you: phone calls, texts or emails. And tell your SSC if there’s a best time of day or day of the week to connect for longer conversations about your child.




Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children’s Resource Network, 877-WiscWay (877-947-2929):  Wisconsin Wayfinder offers families one name and phone number to find services for children with special health care needs. Wayfinder connects you to a resource guide at one of the five Children’s Resource Centers in your area.

Family Voices of Wisconsin, 2024©  |  familyvoiceswi.org

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