In Florida’s Dade and Monroe Counties, a prototype comprehensive electronic care record for children and youth is being tested among participating foster families that receive services through the lead agency for community-based care, Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc... Relevant information from a number of entities (local school system, juvenile justice, court administrator, and state child welfare, Medicaid, and education agencies) flows into a data warehouse, where it is merged and used to populate the record called “Follow My Child.” This enhanced electronic passport is available to case workers and foster parents. As this prototype is being rolled out, participating foster parents are accessing the record frequently. The effort has been funded in a large part through cost savings being realized through the impact of better care coordination and improved family retention efforts, which is then poured into the technology development.
Electronic information exchange has the potential to improve care coordination for children, particularly those who have complex health and social needs such as children in foster care. This primer lays out the case for investing in systems that enable such exchange, reviews existing efforts underway in states and communities, identifies specific elements that serve this population most effectively, and discusses issues that need to be addressed and steps that can be taken to make the most of this opportunity.