Supervisor Lawson-Remer & Board of Supervisors Seek More Aid for Kids Experiencing Poverty, in Foster Care

News Date

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors, including Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, cast a critical vote today to ensure funding for children in poverty, as well as to seek additional resources for kids in need of healthcare and other support.

The Board authorized County staff to apply for funding opportunities to support a healthcare program for children in foster care. It also authorized the County of San Diego’s statements of certification to continue to administer the State of California’s Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) program and Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC) program, an essential step to continue providing services to these youth. 

“We are committed to all children in our County reaching their full potential,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Every kid should be able to see a medical professional as they grow, a doctor when they are sick, or a dentist when they have a cavity. These programs will help children, whether they are in foster care or a family suffering from poverty, access a little more comfort in their time of need.”

Funding for CHDP/EPSDT and HCPCFC will provide for the following types of services in Fiscal Year 2023-24:

  • Facilitating well-child exams for low-income children by community CHDP providers and assisting providers, when requested, in follow-up of high-risk health problems identified on CHDP well-child exams

  • Monitoring 150 CHDP provider sites consisting of clinics, medical groups, and individual practices with the goal of recertifying one-third of active providers, certifying all new providers, and increasing the frequency of closely monitoring providers with need for improvement in quality care and billing

  • Facilitating sealant and/or varnish events to ensure children receive oral health screenings, sealant or varnish application, and information on access to dental and health care

  • Educating and training 300 medical/dental providers and ancillary staff on the importance of oral health messaging including first dental visit by age one, decreasing sugar-sweetened,beverage consumption, fluoride varnish applications in a medical setting, and referrals to,a primary dental care

  • Collaborating with the Child and Family Well-Being Department, Public Health Nursing, Behavioral Health Services, and Probation Department to provide intensive care coordination activities on behalf of 1,500 children in out-of-home placement.

Poverty contributes to inequitable access to resources and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. In San Diego County, 20 percent of children 18 years of age and younger are impacted by poverty, according to the 2021 data from

County Health and Human Services Agency’s report titled Poverty in San Diego County: Family and Child Poverty, Deep Poverty, Housing, and Employment.

Today’s actions by the Board demonstrate a long-term commitment to helping children reach their full potential by supporting programs that encourage healthy behaviors, link eligible children to low- or no-cost healthcare coverage, provide case management services for low-income children with medical conditions, and provide support for at-risk children in the dependency system.

In Fiscal Year 2022-23, the following outcomes were achieved, according to a report from County staff:

  • Facilitated approximately 13,000 well-child exams for low-income children to ameliorate disease and disability

  • Certified, monitored, and trained 150 providers representing 718 physicians and non-physician medical practitioners to ensure quality health care services to low-income children and youth

  • Provided care coordination services through the HCPCFC program to approximately 1,590 children in out-of-home placement

  • Ensured timely medical exams were received for an average of 92% (1,454 of 1,573) of children in out-of-home placement

  • Ensured timely dental exams were received for an average of 82% (1,113 of 1,362) of children in out-of-home placement, with dental exam compliance rates improving from approximately 60% in past years to 82% to date

  • Screened and referred 123 children to community dental clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers to prevent and treat dental problems

  • Provided fluoride varnish application to 119 children and dental sealants to 67 children, and Trained 83 health care professionals, representing 14 medical offices, on oral health and fluoride varnish applications.

Read more about the policy, here.