2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Chartbook Released by MCHB

March 5, 2008

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau is pleased to announce that the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Chartbook 2005-2006 is now available either online or you can request a hardcopy through the addresses listed at the end of this message. The chartbook provides both national and state-level data on children with special health care needs.

The chartbook reports that 10.2 million children in the United States have special health care needs; that number represents 14 percent of all U.S. children. More than a fifth of U.S. households with children have at least one child with special needs. Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are defined as having or being at risk for "chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions that have lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months."

The survey also found that:

  • 16 percent of CSHCN are reported to not receive all the services they need;
  • More than 94 percent of CSHCN have a regular source of care when they are sick. For 78 percent this is a private doctor's office; for 13 percent it is a clinic or health center; and for almost 4 percent it is another setting.
  • 12 percent of families required mental health care or counseling related to the child's medical, behavioral or other health conditions; and
  • 24 percent of families reported that a parent had to stop working or cut work hours to care for their children.

The survey screened 364,841 children for special health care needs and completed 40,840 interviews with families of CSHCN, covering a minimum of 740 CSHCN under the age of 18 in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia . Interviews were conducted with parents or guardians who know about the child's health.

If you would like a hard copy of the chartbook, please contact the HRSA Information Center toll-free at

1-888-ASK-HRSA or 703-442-9051 (or the website is http://ask.hrsa.gov/) or Steph Toomer at 301-443-0766.