- June 2002
- Vol. 3, No. 5
Promising Approaches to Meeting the Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care
States and communities that aim to improve health services for children in the foster care system can turn to the website of the Georgetown University Child Development Center for the latest promising approaches.
The site posts findings from a three-year study funded by the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Researchers collected and analyzed data on approximately one hundred approaches now being taken across the United States to meet the health care needs of children in the foster care system. For the purposes of the study, "health care" included physical, mental, emotional, developmental and dental health.
Site visits were conducted at nine locations in Arkansas, Illinois, New York, California, and Montana to obtain in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. Data from these sites helped to identify the critical components that comprise a comprehensive system for meeting the health care needs of these children. The critical components include:
- Initial screening and comprehensive health assessment
- Access to health care services and treatment
- Management of health care data and information
- Coordination of care
- Collaboration among systems
- Family involvement
- Attention to cultural issues
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Training and education
- Funding strategies
- Designing managed care to fit the needs of children in the child welfare system.
Individual site visit reports and definitions of critical components are among the products produced as result of this study. Other products from the study, titled Meeting the Health Care Needs of Children in the Foster Care System, include:
- Fact sheets describing individual approaches
- Summary of State and Community Efforts
- Strategies for Implementation
- Compendium of Approaches
- Topical Issue Briefs
- Literature Review.
Access the products from the study online at: http://www.georgetown.edu/research/gucdc/foster.html
Jan McCarthy, Project Director
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
3307 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Another related policy paper has just been released from the National Center for Children in Poverty. The second in a series on promoting the emotional well-being of children and familes, Improving the Odds for the Healthy Development of Young Children in Foster Care can be found under the "publications" link on the Center's website at http://www.nccp.org.
See the following related articles in the May 2002 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:
- "Ideas on Improving Health Services for Young Children in Foster Care"
- "Alabama Doctor Centralizes Medical Records for Children in Foster Care"