Standards for Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Children and youth with special health care needs and their families typically receive services and supports from multiple systems – health care, public health, education, mental health, social services, respite and more. Within any one of these systems, children may be served by multiple providers and community-based systems. There is no doubt that the need for services and supports presents significant challenges for developing comprehensive systems of care among health care and other child-serving systems.

To date, however, there has not been agreement on a nationally endorsed set of standards that could be used and applied within health care and public health systems and other child-serving systems to improve health care quality and health outcomes for this population of children.

This white paper, Developing Structure and Process Standards for Systems of Care Serving Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, along with the standards, outlines in detail the structures and processes needed for a high-quality, coordinated system of care for children with special health care needs. The report is unique in that it represents the consensus of a consortium of public and private organizations, and is the first-ever national, collective effort to detail the components of a high quality system.

For commentary about this report from Edward L. Schor, MD, click here.

View an updated version of the Standards, and watch a two-minute video on how to use them.

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