Mitchell bill to place medically-fragile foster kids with nurses passes

September 11, 2013

Sacramento -- Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell’s bill, AB 1133, to require that priority be given to a foster parent who is a nurse authorized to provide in-home medical services via Medi-Cal’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program when determining the placement of foster children with special health care needs, is headed to the Governor’s desk after passing the Senate on a unanimous vote.

“AB 1133 makes it state policy to place medically-fragile foster children in homes where they can get the care they need,” said Assemblywoman Mitchell, who chairs the Select Committee on Foster Youth.  “When these kids are placed with foster parents who are nurses, all of their health stats go up while their hospitalizations go down. Keeping children healthy in ways that also cut costs is a win-win.”

California has significantly reduced its foster care population in the last decade. However, finding home-based placements which provide as familial an environment as possible for children in the state’s care remains a challenge.  If a foster child with special health care needs cannot be placed with a relative or non-relative extended family member, AB 1133 requires that consideration be given to placement with a foster parent qualified to offer home- and community-based services under the EPSDT program, which provides comprehensive and preventive health care services to help ensure children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, developmental and specialty services.