The Committee on Foster Care
The Committee on Foster Care, comprised of pediatricians and representatives from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Human Services, continues its commitment to improve the health care of children in foster care.
Several years ago our chapter was awarded a grant from the Task Force on Foster Care, an ad hoc committee of the national AAP that met biannually from 2007-2011. The TFOFC awarded grants to five state chapters to facilitate the development of systems of care within the state. With the support of this grant, we visited several medical clinic sites throughout Massachusetts to discuss ways to increase access, communication, and appropriate care for children in DCF custody. We worked with North Central DCF and medical providers in that area to develop a medical evaluation clinic in the Leominster/Fitchburg area, similar to the FaCES model in Worcester, described below. FaCES North opened in the fall of 2011 and has improved access and documentation of appropriate screening and comprehensive visits for children soon after placement in that location. In the last year we have worked with pediatricians and nurses at North Shore Medical Center along with their DCF colleagues in Salem to create an evaluation clinic for that area as well.
In Worcester, the FaCES Clinic (Foster Children Evaluation Services) continues to provide screening, procurement of past medical records, comprehensive evaluation, updating of immunizations, laboratory tests as needed, and necessary referrals for all children from birth to 18 years of age. At completion of these visits, all medical information is sent to child’s Medical Home while in foster care. FaCES received a $30,000 grant from the CVS Caremark Foundation to develop a program for children in foster care who are, or are at risk of becoming, obese. This grant has supported educational dinner programs for foster families as well as the development of a website about issues of children in foster care. We welcome all to visit this website: http://facesclinic.com and note the interactive sections for medical providers, social workers, foster children and youth, and foster families.