Counseling and Support

The harm caused by clefts is psychological as well as physical. We're here for that, too.

Smile Train doctor next to his happy patient

All caregivers want their child to develop a positive self-image, have the same opportunities as others, and mature into a well-adjusted, productive adult. Caregivers of children with clefts share these same hopes and dreams, but are often left wondering whether their child may ever reach these goals. It is essential that children with clefts receive support from their families, friends, and trained providers as needed to ensure that they develop the self-esteem and confidence they deserve. It is no less important that parents and caregivers have their own community of support.

Around the world, there are groups dedicated to supporting cleft-affected children and families. Some are led by specialists and specific organizations, while others are spearheaded by the cleft community itself. Some offer in-person activities such as cleft camps, while others are virtual, such as closed Facebook groups. They each have their own personality and strengths, so it is important for families to explore them all to see which is best for their needs.

In addition to these resources, support can be found through CLEFTLINE, a toll-free number for information about cleft lip. They can be reached at 1-800-24-CLEFT (1-800-242-5338) or 919-933-9044.

Financial Assistance

Depending on where you live, clefts surgeries and other comprehensive cleft care can be expensive. Smile Train provides financial support to cleft teams across 75+ countries so they have resources to provide free care. Please speak directly to a partner cleft team near you to see if you qualify for grant assistance.

Find more recommendations and information about covering surgery and comprehensive cleft care costs in the US at the link below: