Health Care Benefits
Texas provides healthcare to children in foster care and youth who reach adulthood in foster care up to the month of their 26th birthday. These youth get healthcare through STAR Health, a form of Medicaid that is overseen by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and administered by Superior HealthPlan. STAR Health includes a medical home for each child, service coordination and management, 24-hour nursing and behavioral health helplines, and psychotropic medication monitoring.
When a youth aging out of DFPS care needs long-term care or support due to an intellectual or developmental disability, DFPS refers them to the local intellectual and developmental disability authority. If a court makes HHSC the youth’s legal guardian, that agency takes responsibility for the youth. However, DFPS may continue to provide placement in foster care for young adults even if they receive guardianship services.
The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment is a comprehensive, trauma-informed behavioral health assessment of a youth’s strengths and needs. The information helps decision-making, drives service planning, facilitates quality improvement, and allows for outcomes monitoring. CPS also is working to ensure that every child DFPS removes from a home gets a comprehensive Texas Health Steps physical checkup to identify his or her unique health care needs. By getting this thorough medical checkup soon after removal, CPS and caregivers can use the information to ensure that the child's needs are met.