The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Key Topics in Healthcare Delivery for Children in Foster Care

Friday, January 18, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Executive Center 3B (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Symposium Organizer:
Lucy Bilaver, PHD MPP MS, Northwestern University
Background and Purpose:  Nearly all children in foster care or in adoptive placements after foster care have access to healthcare through the Medicaid program.  Child welfare agencies have increasing recognized that Medicaid alone will not ensure that children in state custody receive needed health and mental health services.  Unlike other Medicaid eligible children, those in foster care encounter additional barriers to care due to physical mobility across placements, incomplete medical records, and complex health conditions combined with a history of trauma.  This symposium presents three papers that address key topics in healthcare delivery for children in foster care including a) chronic conditions, b) medical homes, and c) continuity of care. 

Methods:  Each of the three papers focuses on a different a topic in healthcare delivery for foster children.  Each study uses an observational design to examine health and mental health service use for distinct populations including a national sample of children in foster care, a population of Medicaid children in one state, and a sample of youth aging out of foster care in three Midwestern states.  The papers will use regression analysis to examine the factors associated with healthcare service use including:  mental health services, immunization, well-child visits, ER visits, and hospitalization.   

Results:  The first paper will use nationally representative data to examine the interaction of chronic conditions with type of placement on the access to health care for children entering kinship care or traditional foster care.  The second paper will identify the effect of healthcare delivery in a medical home model for children in foster care by comparing them with other Medicaid eligible children not exposed to a medical home.  The third paper examines the continuity of care with respect to the receipt of mental health services for young adults in foster care as they transition to adulthood.

Conclusions:  The symposium will provide attendees with a clear understanding of the three key factors impacting current healthcare delivery for children in foster care.

* noted as presenting author
Children with Chronic Health Conditions in Foster Care: Differences in Health Care Service Utilization by Placement
Jesse J. Helton, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Theodore P. Cross, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Effect of an Expanded Medical Home Model for Children in Foster Care
Paula K. Jaudes, MD, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Lucy Bilaver, PHD MPP MS, Northwestern University; Vincent Champagne, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
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