This brief explains the federal government has encouraged and required child welfare-Medicaid collaboration through legislation such as the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (2008) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010). It provides examples of collaborative requirements in federal legislation, and then highlights examples of child welfare-Medicaid collaboration that represent true partnerships where the relationship has evolved into the creation of a collaboration that benefits children and families and is consistent with the goals and direction of both State agencies. Highlighted programs include: Partnering For Excellence, Rowan County, North Carolina; the System of Care Partnership and the Allegany County public-private collaboration in Pennsylvania; and the targeted Medicaid waiver program and the Core Services Program implemented in Colorado. The brief concludes that children in foster care and families served by child welfare have complex histories of trauma and poverty that lead to significant psychosocial and health needs and high costs to both the child welfare and Medicaid system. It argues that by implementing collaborative practices and financing across departments at the State and local level, both child welfare and Medicaid agencies can effectively reach these children and families, provide evidence-based interventions, and improve outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
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Cross-System Approaches That Promote Child Well-Being: State Examples From North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.