Foster Care for Children

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A4. Existing state law establishes the state's Medicaid program known as Medi-Cal, administered by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), which provides comprehensive health benefits to low-income children; their parents or caretaker relatives; pregnant women; elderly, blind or disabled persons; nursing home residents; and refugees who meet specified eligibility criteria.


A5.Independent former foster youth between the ages 18 and 21 are eligible to receive certain medical benefits to which they are legally entitled and desperately need. Research has shown that independent former foster youth have acute health care needs. I strongly feel that given these health care needs, it is appropriate that under current law, these youth are eligible for Medi-Cal by virtue of their status as former foster youth. Despite their eligibility, however, these former foster youth are required to fill out Medi-Cal eligibility forms as a prerequisite to getting the health care services to which they are entitled. It does not make moral or fiscal sense for the state to spend scarce dollars and staff hours making these former foster youth fill out Medi-Cal paperwork since they cannot, by law, be refused eligibility. As a result of this current practice, these foster youth risk losing their medical care when they incorrectly fill out their forms, forms are sent to the wrong addresses, or where there are other paperwork delays.
A6. According to the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, courts are responsible for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes as a result of abuse or neglect. ...
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