Reports

State Practices for Assessing Health Needs, Facilitating Service Delivery and Monitoring Children’s Care

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

An estimated 80 percent of the nearly 500,000 youths in foster care nationally have “significant health care needs,” ranging from chronic physical conditions to developmental and mental health disorders, according to federal estimates. Recent government surveys found that about 30 percent of foster youth did not receive adequate treatment or did not have their health  assessed at all.

In response, the GAO conducted this analysis of health care procedures for foster youth in 10 states, which were selected for their geographic diversity and differences in foster care caseloads.

The GAO found that every state mandates physical exams for children upon entering foster care, and most conduct screening for developmental and mental health irregularities at that time. Several states also evaluate incoming foster children for substance abuse problems. Once inside the foster care system, children receive routine exams at regular intervals, as required by state Medicaid guidelines.

States have implemented various procedures aimed at improving health care for foster youth, who are covered primarily by Medicaid. These measures include using specialized staff to quickly register foster children for Medicaid and increasing payment rates for doctors who treat foster youths.

To monitor the quality of foster care, most states rely on a combination of paper and electronic records, the GAO found. Texas, however, has developed a fully electronic health record for each foster youth and the records can be viewed on a secure website by those involved in the child’s care.

Finally, the report noted that the U.S. Administration for Children and Families has established 25 technical assistance centers designed to help child welfare officials coordinate their efforts with existing health care programs. Although the report makes no recommendations, its findings suggest that increased collaboration between foster care and health officials is necessary to ensure quality treatment for foster children. Free, 58 pages. (202) 512-6000, www.gao.gov/new.items/d0926.pdf.

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Archives

Categories

Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top