Category Archives: Health and Behavioral Health

Medicaid and Children in Foster Care

Medicaid and Children in Foster Care image_Page_01The health care needs of children in foster care are vast and often compounded by their circumstances. These children face myriad challenges – from placement instability, to emotional, behavioral, and educational difficulties, to juvenile justice involvement – that threaten their health and well-being. Because they are often at the intersection of multiple public systems including behavioral health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and primary care, it is critical for these systems to work collaboratively to meet their health needs.

Much national attention is currently being directed toward this population, particularly around the issue of psychotropic medication use, which has shed a spotlight on the behavioral health challenges faced by these children. Most children in foster care are insured through Medicaid, which makes state Medicaid agencies one of the major players in developing solutions to address the issues of this population.

Medicaid and Children in Foster Care, authored by Kamala D. Allen, MHS, and Taylor Hendricks, MS, of the Center for Health Care Strategies,  details the health care needs of children in foster care and the role of Medicaid in providing health coverage for this population. It also highlights existing policy levers that may help to address some of the ongoing health and well-being issues faced by children in foster care.

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Recording from Webinar: Child Welfare and the Affordable Care Act

View the presentation from our February 19, 2013  webinar, Child Welfare and the Affordable Care Act, below. You can follow along with the audio recording with the audio player beneath the presentation. The draft comments discussed in the presentation that are in response to CMS’ request for feedback on the proposed rule concerning Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and Exchanges: Essential Health Benefits in Alternative Benefit Plans, Eligibility Notices, Fair Hearing and Appeal Processes for Medicaid and Exchange Eligibility Appeals and Other Provisions Related to Eligibility and Enrollment for Exchanges, Medicaid and CHIP, and Medicaid is available to view here.

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Recording from Webinar: “Improving the Economic Security of Children in Foster Care and Young People Who are Transitioning from Foster Care”

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Improving the Economic Security of Children in Foster Care and Young People Who are Transitioning from Foster Care

We’re pleased to share with you the second in a series of upcoming SPARC policy briefs. The brief, entitled “Improving the Economic Security of Children in Foster Care and Young People who are Transitioning from Foster Care,” authored by consultant Shawn Fremstad, focuses on ways that advocates can work with government agencies and urge them to streamline enrollment to public benefits and services for eligible foster children and youth who have aged out of care.

Children in foster care and youth who transitioned from foster care are often eligible for public benefits and services that can increase their economic security, meet their health care needs, and help them do better in school.

But eligible kids and the adults in their lives may not know or have incorrect eligibility information. Complex application processes may also limit access to benefits and services. Even when foster children get the benefits they need, bureaucratic processes can detract from more important activities, including school and employment. Foster children can also lose benefits unnecessarily when, as is common, their placements or other life circumstances change.                      

This brief discusses ways that advocates can help foster children and youth who aged out of foster care access critical public benefits including the Sup
plemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Though not the only available benefits, improving access to these initiatives offers real potential to improve children’s lives.

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Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health

In March 2012, the Alliance for Children and Families released the first in a series of briefs entitled the “Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health.” It can be found here.

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Adolescent Brain Study – Executive Summary

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Adolescent Brain Study – Full Report

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