Children entering foster care are referred by child welfare to a centralized pediatric facility where a comprehensive health assessment, often including medical, developmental, and mental health screening, is done. The results of the assessment are shared with child welfare and the child is referred either back to their primary care physician or onto another health provider who will care for them while they are in foster care.
Children in foster care receive their health care through a primary care pediatric office dedicated to children in foster care. Some clinics are located in same building as social service agency.
"Lead agencies" organize networks of primary and specialty physicians, with case management. A health passport follows the child.
Individual healthcare case management is provided by public health nurses co-located at child welfare agency offices.
Mental Health / Developmental-Based
Care is mental health and/or development-based. This model promotes mental and developmental health, trains foster parents about the mental health and developmental needs of children in foster care, increases awareness about services for children in foster care, and decreases the number of disrupted placements due to behavioral difficulties.
Health and social services are provided to children with special health needs living with biological, foster, or adoptive families. One goal is to prevent institutionalization and/or hospital boarding for children.