The Fostering Connections Program is a specialized foster care clinic that offers comprehensive health care services to children and adolescents placed in out-of-home care. By providing initial assessments following placement, well child visits, sick child visits, and care coordination, the clinic serves as a medical home to the patients it serves. The initial medical evaluation includes a complete medical examination and a review of prior medical history. The patient will also undergo mental health and developmental screenings to identify additional treatment needs. Traditionally, different areas of care (i.e. mental health, dental, vision, etc.) functioned autonomously with little coordination or communication with other care providers. The care coordination offered through the Fostering Connections Program is designed to assist foster families in navigating the health care system for these various needs, while generating increased continuity of care among the varied providers. The care coordinator facilitates the collection of prior medical information, referrals and follow-up of care.
The Fostering Connections Program’s streamlined access to behavioral health services, developmental services, and other ancillary providers enables children to receive the care they need in an efficient and timely manner. The care coordination and the support offered to foster and kinship caregivers fosters individualized treatment that is tailored to the specific needs of the children served.
Download Informational Brochures for Medical Professionals and Families
To learn more about the Fostering Connections Program, or make a referral, contact:
The Fostering Connections Program at the Center for Family Safety and Healing
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
655 East Livingston Avenue
Columbus, OH 43205
Success has a variety of appearances in the Fostering Connections Program (FCP). Alyssa went into Children Services’ care as a 2 year-old victim of physical abuse and came into the Fostering Connections Program with some complex health needs. FCP was able to work with her caregiver and collect medical records from her various care providers in Ohio. Alyssa was then referred to mental health specialists at Nationwide Children’s and they were able to rule out an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Next, she began working with an occupational therapist and eventually was able to attend preschool. While Alyssa was making great strides in her development, it became clear that her caregivers were planning to adopt her. As the official adoption approached, new issues surfaced and the family was referred to a Nationwide Children’s counselor who had experience working with families in the midst of this transition. Once the adoption was finalized, FCP assisted the adoptive parents in selecting a pediatrician near their home. FCP contacted the new provider and arranged for proper consents to be signed, and then forwarded Alyssa’s medical information to the new Primary Care Physican. Because of the combined efforts of the Fostering Connections Program, Alyssa’s caregivers, other providers at Nationwide Children’s and Children Services staff, the stage was set for Alyssa to thrive. And she is.
One foster parent wrote the following when describing FCP to other foster caregivers:
“The care and treatment our foster children have received at the Center for Child and Family Advocacy is far superior to anything they’ve received elsewhere. The children are made to feel comfortable, the staff takes our schedules into consideration and the doctors talk to us, take great care of the children, care about our well-being and provide excellent follow-up.”
Another foster parent made the following comment:
“Our little one is treated with gentle kindness and genuine interest. Our input is valued. …I also value the call center. …[The] staff is great!”
Yet another foster parent comment:
“…We have just been thrilled by the care and the help and the support that we have [received] here with our kids…it really is a totally different experience…”