The Parent Information Center of Delaware (PIC), in partnership with the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), announced the recipients of the Statewide Family SHADE Mini-Grant Program for 2023-2024.

The Family SHADE (Support Healthcare Alliance Delaware) mini-grant program aims to build state and local capacity and test small-scale innovative strategies to improve the overall systems of care for youth with special health care needs and their families. The Parent Information Center of Delaware manages the mini-grant program, made possible by DPH. The Division of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health program works with organizations across the state to ensure all Delaware babies and children have the same opportunity to thrive.

“We are thrilled to continue this amazing opportunity to partner with our state in providing innovative strategies that support children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN),” said PIC Executive Director Meedra Surratte. “So often, the community organizations who have direct access and greatest impact in our communities do not have the resources, financial or otherwise, to respond to the needs of the communities they serve. This mini-grant process is one way we can support the organizations and communities facing the most significant barriers to accessing care and support. More importantly, the technical assistance provided to the grantees and learning communities allows for meaningful family engagement, capacity building and sustainability in programs serving CYSHCN.”

The 2022-2023 mini-grant recipients are:

The Children’s Beach House: Founded in 1936, Children’s Beach House has devoted itself to meeting the most pressing needs of Delaware children. Children’s Beach House envisions a world where all children reach their highest potential. The mission of Children’s Beach House is to improve the lives of children, youth, families and communities by helping them to identify, understand and utilize their own strengths, talents and resources.

Children’s Beach House is being awarded $25,000 to expand its Youth Development Program. The Youth Development Program gives young people opportunities to develop close and supportive relationships with peers and caring adult role models, so they feel safe, loved and at home in the world. The program offers year-round support and activities for children ages 7 to 18 who have a diagnosed speech, language, hearing or communicative delay or disability, have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and come from under-resourced homes.

Down Syndrome Association of Delaware: Founded in 1979, the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware is a statewide non-profit support group. The mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware is to serve as a resource promoting public awareness, education and advocacy supporting individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

The Down Syndrome Association of Delaware is being awarded $25,000 to work alongside the families of over 150 youth within the state of Delaware who are under the age of 17 and have Down syndrome. Families will be referred to the Down Syndrome Program at Nemours, which helps families of children with Down syndrome create medical homes by connecting them with specialists and professionals who work collaboratively with parents and caregivers. The Down Syndrome Program at Nemours has been in existence since 2017 and is one of only a handful of programs of its kind in the country.

Teach Zen Incorporated: Founded in 2016, Teach Zen Inc. is a community partner focused on supporting the early childhood industry with social-emotional learning. The mission of Teach Zen Inc. is to provide young children and early childhood educators with the self-care tools needed to manage BIG emotions in order to create safe and nurturing classroom environments that enhance the capacity for learning.

Teach Zen Inc. is being awarded $25,000 to provide early childhood educators and children of low-income families between the ages of 3 and 5 enrolled in early childhood education programs with Social Emotional Learning and self-regulation techniques to improve their overall emotional well-being.

The three organizations were selected by a diverse team of community reviewers to receive the funding. Each recipient was required to address one of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) National Performance Measures (NPMs) for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs in their mini-grant applications.

The National Performance Measures are:

  • Performance Measure 6 (Developmental Screening): Percent of children, ages 9 through 35 months, who received developmentally appropriate services in a well-coordinated early childhood system.
  • Performance Measure 11 (Access to Medical Home): Percent of children with and without special health care needs, ages 0 through 17, who have a medical home.
  • Performance Measure 12 (Transition to Adult Healthcare): Percent of adolescents with and without special health care needs, ages 12 through 17, who received services to prepare for the transition to adult health care.
  • Performance Measure 15 (Adequate Insurance): Percent of children, ages 0 through 17, who are continuously and adequately insured.

Mini-grant recipients are required to submit monthly reporting, attend technical assistance workshops and to participate in the Family SHADE monthly Learning Communities.

For More information about Family SHADE visit

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