More options available to help children entering foster care in Davie

Published 9:55 am Friday, May 28, 2021

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Cardinal Innovations Healthcare will provide more than $600,000 as part of the Child Welfare Enhancement Fund to support children entering foster care in Davie County.

In November 2020, Cardinal launched a program aimed at supporting children in custody of social services departments in its 20-county region. The plan includes a $30 million investment to fund a monthly Child Welfare Enhancement Fund payment, also referred to as sub-capitation, for every Medicaid-eligible child in foster care.

Counties may use these Medicaid funds creatively for costs such as emergency placements, preliminary or transitional behavioral healthcare or social determinants of health such as housing, transportation or food insecurity. The program is modeled after successful programs in other states and creates a mechanism for counties to have immediate access to needed funds.

Cardinal previously announced Child Welfare Enhancement Fund agreements with Rowan, Stokes, and Orange counties.

“The moment a child enters the custody of Social Services is a critical juncture,” said Trey Sutten, CEO of Cardinal Innovations. “This program is designed to bridge gaps at that time of need by providing supplemental, flexible funding to counties. This helps to address the acute needs of these children sooner and gives them a better chance for success.”

This funding agreement is part of a larger child welfare reform effort by Cardinal. Additional components include immediate access to a care coordinator, shorter authorization times and an expanded network of providers. The plan also includes steps to improve overall service delivery such as reduced emergency department utilization and increased access to services and providers in the communities it serves.

The investment coincides with statewide planning for the fall 2021 implementation of the Family First Services Prevention Act (FFPSA).

“Research tells us that children and youth have better long-term outcomes if they are anchored to a family. Supporting local Departments of Social Services through these investments provides real resources to help sustain biological, kinship, and foster families. I appreciate the trust extended by Davie County,” Sutten said. “The path forward is grounded in us working hand in hand, jointly focused on improving the health, safety, and stability of our citizens.”