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Welcome to the SEA Center of Northern California, formally known as the Exceptional Family Support, Education, and Advocacy Center. We understand the difficulties you face as parents of children with special needs and we will give you the caring, emotional support you deserve.

Our staff is comprised of parents of special needs children who are guided by a Board of Directors that includes parents, community members, and industry professionals. Our mission is to provide you with the information and resources you need to be an effective advocate for your child's special needs and to promote acceptance and inclusion of all children with special needs and disabilities.

The SEA Center is a non-profit organization, founded in 1995. All of our services are free and supported through grants, donations, and fundraising activities. We are a designated California Family Resource Center and a federally funded Parent Training and Information Center.

Family Resource Network
The SEA Center's Family Resource Network program is for families with infants and toddlers aged birth to three, who have a diagnosed disability or who are at risk of developing a developmental disability due to certain risk factors. The Family Resource Network offers an array of free services to families living in Northern California. Contact us to sign-up for any of the following services:

First Connections: If you're a parent of a newborn or newly diagnosed infant or toddler, we will connect you with "seasoned" parents for the Parent to Parent support and information you need.

Welcome Packets: All the information you need about the SEA Center, the Family Resource Network, and other organizations that can help. You will also get motivational articles on raising a child with special needs, lending library resources, and more.

Disability Packets: Request a specialized packet of information on your child's disability, even if it's a rare disorder. The packet includes information on conditions, the latest research, specialized programs and laws.

External Resources: We will get you information about and referrals to local, national, and worldwide groups and agencies who can lend a hand.

Lending Library: You can access books and videos on various special needs topics in all nine Northeastern California counties and if you can't find what you need, we can send special requests to a lending library near you.


Learn all about the Federal laws protecting your child's right to a public education. The SEA Center is now one of nine Parent Training and Information (PTI) centers in California, and one of 70 in the United States. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, SEA Center is able to offer training in special education law and practices to parents in order to improve outcomes for children with special needs. The importance of parents understanding their rights and responsibilities with regards to their child's education cannot be overemphasized. Federal law provides for the education of children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA. The six main provisions of IDEA include the guarantee of a free, appropriate, public education provided in the least restrictive environment, with supports and services as needed. Parents also have the right to procedural safeguards should problems arise. Services under the PTI program include all-day workshops on law and advocacy for parents, lending libraries, support for parent groups and much more.


Take advantage of this exciting, innovative, multi-agency collaborative program designed to support families of children with special needs. The program offers trained, seasoned Mentor Parent volunteers who assist parents - either those whose children are new to special education or those who need support and assistance - as they prepare for educational assessments, meetings, and more. Mentor Parent volunteers have experience and expertise in a variety of areas and disabilities. Partners in Education provides an excellent resource for families whose children are new to the educational system; either transitioning from early intervention programs to preschool or from preschool to kindergarten. The program was started in Butte County and is currently expanding to Shasta County.


Enroll your child in the Sunshine Kids Club! This program provides an opportunity for your child with special needs to get together with siblings and friends on a regular basis in a safe and supportive environment where self-expression, individuality, and the freedom to just be yourself is acknowledged, encouraged, and embraced. Sunshine Kids meet weekly in Chico for activities, fun, and support including community involvement and interaction A typical club gathering includes circle time, play acting, movement, crafts, music, games, self-esteem building, problem solving, guest speakers, open forum, and a variety of activities. Families also meet monthly, for dinners prepared by the kids, group activities planned by the kids, and more.


Download key articles from our Newsletter and access important links to other resources on the Internet.


Join our team efforts to provide support and information to families of children with special needs, to the professionals who serve them, and to your community. Check this page often for current SEA Center volunteer opportunities and job openings in Northern California.


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