House Bill 144 takes a critical step in fixing the state’s fractured foster care system by authorizing the state to move forward with a single, statewide healthcare plan for families and children in the foster care system.
House Bill 144 authorizes a critical step in fixing the state’s fractured foster care system. The Coalition SUPPORTS to this legislation. Specifically, House Bill 144 authorizes the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to move forward with a single, statewide healthcare plan for families and children in the foster care system. This will provide children and families, regardless of their geographic location, with access to a “broad range of physical health, behavioral health, pharmacy, long-term services and supports, Intellectual/Developmental Disability services, and resources to address unmet health-related needs.” The goal of this change is “aimed at preserving families and supporting reunification and permanency.” Currently, children and families in foster care are subject to a regional system. These children and families, however, often move across regions, causing services and care to be disrupted, duplicated or both. Many rural regions also lack the care and support needed to serve families in foster care. A statewide plan with access to a broad network of experts and providers will mean better care for children and families, a more efficient use of tax dollars, and will erase the urban-rural divide that right now plagues the system. Actions related to this bill will be factored into a member’s Affordable Healthcare Grade at the close of the legislative session.