Children and Youth Entering Foster Care

teenssmall160x100_002Children and youth who enter foster care have usually experienced complex trauma and adverse experiences.  They often have unmet health needs, chronic health conditions as well as developmental and mental health concerns, leading the American Academy of Pediatrics to designate children in foster care as children with special healthcare needs.

Children entering foster care should receive an initial health screening visit within 3 days or sooner if warranted and a comprehensive health assessment within 30 days.  These children are entitled to more frequent health supervision visits to monitor their growth, development, and adjustment and to promote resiliency and well-being through care coordination and shared plans of care. 


To ensure that Medicaid-eligible children and youth entering the custody of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) have access to high-quality care in medical homes guided by the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) team collaborates with the Vermont Department of Health Maternal Child Health Coordinators, Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families, the Department for Vermont Health Access and Vermont pediatric medical providers.  This project has worked to assess the current systems of care and understand strengths and barriers for improving the health care delivery systems for children and youth in foster care.  The current goal of the project is promotion of the 30-day comprehensive health assessment, care coordination using shared plans of care, and an enhanced well-visit schedule.

VCHIP participates in a CMS Affinity group whose purpose is to help state Medicaid agencies partner with state child welfare agencies.  They explore and identify opportunities to improve timely access to health care services for children and youth in foster care.



If you are interested in information about technical assistance or quality improvement for your medical home, please contact us