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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals, Administration for Children's Services' Family Health Program Provide Enhanced Healthcare Services to Children in Foster Care & Families Receiving Prevention Services

Family health program provides trauma-informed primary care services to children, youth and their families

Program will improve delivery & coordination of health care services while preventing children from entering foster care and helping families reunite sooner

Jul 26, 2021

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals, in collaboration with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), today announced the launch of the Family Health Program, an initiative that provides high-quality healthcare services to children and youth in foster care and families receiving prevention services. Family Health Program sites, which are located throughout the City’s public healthcare system, provide comprehensive primary care for the entire family. As part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ partnership with ACS, these sites offer an integrated system of care to nurture the resilience and health of children in foster care, and their families. NYC Health + Hospitals has the capacity to support 3,000 families through the Family Health program system-wide. In addition to providing New York City children and families served by ACS with the best possible health care services, the goal of the Family Health Program is also to prevent children from entering foster care, help families reunite sooner, and provide extra support to foster parents.
“Creating longitudinal primary care relationships and addressing any health concerns early on in a child’s life has been proven to contribute to an overall stable development that follows a person into adulthood. This development and healthy habits are even stronger if whole families receive the care they need,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health Ted Long, MD, MHS. “Our partnership with ACS will help us care for more children and families, supporting families to be reunited, and empowering families with the skills and foundation for long-lasting healthy habits.”
“ACS is committed to ensuring children and their families get high-quality health care services that are trauma-informed and that can best meet their unique needs,” said Commissioner David A. Hansell. “Thank you to Health + Hospitals for partnering with us on this expansion, which will mean that more children in foster care, and more families receiving prevention services, will have better access to health and behavioral health services. Expansion of the Family Health Program is just one more step ACS is taking to enhance the quality of health services for children and families.”
The unique focus of the Family Health Program is particularly important now, since NYC children in foster care have been transitioned to Medicaid managed care as of July 1, 2021. The Family Health Program will strengthen this transition by providing referrals to coordinated, wrap-around healthcare for children and youth in foster care.
“The Family Health Program, with sites throughout our City’s public hospital system, prioritizes cultural humility in community-focused care with the goal of keeping New York City families together. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals on the program’s launch, and the improvement in coordination and delivery of critical primary and preventative care for children served by the Administration for Children’s Services and their families,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Hospitals.
“One of the best tools we have to keep families together is to provide high quality healthcare that is sensitive to the needs of children who have experienced traumatic events. I applaud this initiative and I’m proud to represent and be an advocate for one of the best public hospitals in the country,” said Assemblymember Harvey Epstein.
“I proudly represent NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, one of the locations where the Family Health Program will be implemented. Now more than ever, we need services like the Family Health Program, which will provide healthcare and preventative services to families in Queens. The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented hardships on families. Adverse childhood experience can have a long-lasting impact. The trauma-informed services of the Family Health Program will aid in the healing process so that NYC can recover,” said Assemblyman David Weprin.
Referrals to the Family Health Program come directly from the Foster Care agency’s case planning team. In addition, families involved in prevention services or their prevention services case planner can call the NYC Health + Hospitals’ Family Health Program hotline to get an appointment for primary care at 347-507-3942. Children and their parents/guardians are provided with separate care appointments on the same day and at the same facility to make coordinating schedules and travel to the hospital or clinic.
The Family Health Program is available at sites throughout the NYC Health + Hospitals system. The sites that cater to children zero to five years old include: NYC Hospitals/Bellevue, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur. The sites that cater to children and youth ages 0 to 21 include NYC Health + Hospitals/ Gotham Health, Morrisania and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland. All locations were strategically selected in order to serve communities of highest need.
Each NYC Health + Hospitals site includes a dedicated case manager who works closely with the child’s foster care agency to address all medical, mental health, and psychosocial concerns. For adults, primary care teams are specially trained to help manage health conditions and offer self-management tools for chronic diseases. For instance, the program provides services for mental health treatment, drug treatment, cancer screening, family planning, vaccinations, diabetes, asthma, and more. Women’s health services are also provided, including breastfeeding/lactation services, prenatal and postpartum care, reproductive health and more.