Care Coordination Systems and Standards Research & Reports
October 13, 2015

Hidden in Plain Sight: California Children Using Long-Term Care Services

By: Ruth Brousseau, PhD, with help from Sally MacDonald, JD

Long-term care—ongoing assistance with the basic activities of daily life—is most often associated with senior citizens and nursing homes. In stark contrast to these images is the reality that between 100,000 and 300,000 California children use a range of long-term care services that enable the majority of them to remain in their homes. Even a generation ago, many of these children who are now living into adulthood would not have survived infancy or early childhood, and those who did would have been consigned to institutions.

Hidden in Plain Sight places a spotlight on this population of children with severe and enduring health problems and their families—who they are, the circumstances of their lives, and the policies that affect them. The report concludes with policy recommendations that, if implemented, would provide starting points for improving long-term care services for this population of vulnerable children and their families.