Kausha King’s work as the parent health liaison at the Care Parent Network in Contra Costa County is deeply personal. Nearly everything she teaches parents about advocating for their children with special health care needs, she has experienced herself. “It’s a world all our own, and we came into it blind and had to learn,” she says.
Health services for California students with special health care needs vary greatly by school district, are provided by a variety of school staff, operate under a confusing patchwork of regulations, and are often underfunded, according to a new study. Researchers from California State University-Sacramento’s School of Nursing analyzed 2011-2012 state education data, interviewed school education experts, and conducted a large-scale survey of certified school nurses who are members of the California School Nurses Association.
Karen Fessel is known throughout California for her passionate advocacy to get insurers to pay for the services families need for their children on the autism spectrum. Now, she’s branching out to serve children with other special health care needs.
For families of children with special health care needs, the idea of managed care can be worrisome. Families fear that in the interest of cost savings and maximizing profits health plans will limit their children's care. A new study by the National Academy for State Health Policy, supported by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, examines how three states, including California, try to ensure that children with special health care needs are identified in managed care organizations and that their needs are assessed and appropriate care provided. The authors propose promising practices that states could adopt to meet the requirements of this population of children.
For families of children with special health care needs, depending on managed care organizations can be worrisome, especially when their children require expensive and/or unusual services. A new study examines the approaches taken by three states, including California, to assuring that children with special health care needs are known to their managed care organization and that their needs are assessed so that appropriate care can be provided.
Dr. Mark Edelstein oversees mental health treatment and social services for some of California’s most troubled kids. With his staff at EMQ FamiliesFirst, Edelstein works to keep children with significant mental health issues in their communities – an important task at a time when the rate of mental health-related hospitalizations of California children and youth is rising.