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

Source: United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-09-26, February 2009

Providing health care services for foster children, who often have significant health care needs, can be challenging. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) oversees foster care, but state child welfare agencies are responsible for ensuring that these children receive health care services, which are often financed by Medicaid. In light of concerns about the health care needs of foster children, GAO was asked to study states’ efforts to improve foster children’s receipt of health services. This report has four objectives. It describes specific actions that some states have taken to (1) identify health care needs, (2) ensure delivery of appropriate health services, and (3) document and monitor the health care of children in foster care. It also describes the related technical assistance ACF offers to states.

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