The Foster Care Health Program (FCHP) is committed to meeting the health care needs of children in out-of-home placement. Through healthcare coordination and consultation, children in out-of-home placements through DCYF will receive the on-going care they need to achieve and maintain optimal physical, emotional and developmental health.
- Why is the Foster Care Health Program Needed?
- Documentation shows that children who are placed in out of home placements often suffer from poor health prior to placement. For various reasons, daily health care needs may not have been met which may result in physical and mental health problems. The Foster Care Health Program is primarily focused on meeting the healthcare needs of children in out of home placement.
- What is the Comprehensive Health and Developmental Assessment?
- Each child receives a Comprehensive Health and Developmental Assessment within one month following placement. Because health is not only the absence of disease but a sense of physical, social and emotional well-being, the child's overall functioning is considered at the assessment. The assessment includes:
- a complete physical exam, including any necessary immunizations;
- screening for vision, hearing, and lead;
- intensive screening/monitoring for mental and emotional problems, cognitive and motor delays;
- referrals for preventive dental care and treatment;
- how the child handles peer relationships;
- how the child manages his or her behavior;
- how the child is coping with the changes in his or her life;
- school status and progress reports;
- evaluating how the child handles peer relationships;
- evaluating how the child manages his or her behavior; ·
- evaluating how the child is coping with the changes in his or her life; and
- reviewing school status and progress reports.
The medical provider completes a Child Health Profile. A medical file of health information is developed for each child that may include prenatal care records, past medical history, family medical history, immunization records, current medical status, and other medical, dental and developmental information.
- Who Provides Medical Care for Children in placement?
- Comprehensive health services are provided by community health care providers. Whenever possible, a child in out-of-home placement remains with the family's own medical provider. Extra efforts are made to keep the same medical provider to allow continuity of care for the child's benefit. Referrals for specialty services are coordinated with the primary provider.
- What is the Role of the Foster Care Health Program's Nurse Coordinator?
- Nurse Coordinators are registered nurses who are responsible for coordinating the healthcare of certain children in out of home placement and who provide healthcare oversight and consultation for all other children involved with the agency. The Nurse Coordinators are available to:
- assist the Child Protection Service Worker (CPSW) to coordinate the health care needs of children in placement;
- assist the medical community by providing information about the special needs of children in care;
- assist with identifying health care providers;
- act as a resource and liaison to those involved in addressing the health care needs of children in placement;
- assist with the collection and provision of available health information to persons involved with a child’s case;
- What is the Role of the Parent?
- Each parent of the child is expected to:
- be an active participant in decisions regarding the child's health care needs;
- provide child and family health information to DCYF;
- sign the Medical Authorization and a Release of Information;
- receive a description of services and explanation of comprehensive medical care;
- participate in the child's health care by going to healthcare appointments, discussing treatment options, and learning about medications, therapy and special care needs of the child.
- What is the Role of the Foster Parent?
- Each Foster Parent must:
- receive training on available program services and related health topics;
- make the necessary medical care appointments with the help of the Nurse;
- receive necessary information for meeting the health care needs of the child in their care;
- attend health care visits and meetings;
- provide valuable health information on the child while in placement,
- provide updates on medical visits and immunizations to the Child Protection Services Worker (CPSW).
- What Happens After the Comprehensive Health Assessment?
- A health care planning discussion is coordinated and conducted by the CPSW about three to four weeks after the exam is completed. The purpose of the discussion is to review the Comprehensive and Developmental Assessment and discuss the medical provider’s recommendations for ongoing healthcare. Those persons who may participate in the discussion may include parents, foster parents, health care providers, Child Protection Service Workers (CPSWs) or Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers, and others involved in the care of the child. A Health Care Plan is developed by the CPSW as a part of the Family Case Plan and is reviewed periodically for progress and identification of additional health care needs