CA Welf & Inst Code Section 16501.3


The State Department of Social Services shall establish and maintain a program of public health nursing in the child welfare services program that meets the federal requirements for the provision of health care to minor and nonminor dependents in foster care consistent with Section 30026.5 of the Government Code. The purpose of the public health nursing program shall be to promote and enhance the physical, mental, dental, and developmental well-being of children in the child welfare system.


Under this program, counties shall use the services of a foster care public health nurse. The foster care public health nurse shall work with the appropriate child welfare services workers to coordinate health care services and serve as a liaison with health care professionals and other providers of health-related services. This shall include coordination with county mental health plans and local health jurisdictions, as appropriate. In order to fulfill these duties, the foster care public health nurse shall have access to the child’s medical, dental, and mental health care information, in a manner that is consistent with all relevant privacy requirements.


The duties of a foster care public health nurse shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:


Documenting that each child in foster care receives initial and followup health screenings that meet reasonable standards of medical practice.


Collecting health information and other relevant data on each foster child as available, receiving all collected information to determine appropriate referral and services, and expediting referrals to providers in the community for early intervention services, specialty services, dental care, mental health services, and other health-related services necessary for the child.


Participating in medical care planning and coordinating for the child. This may include, but is not limited to, assisting case workers in arranging for comprehensive health and mental health assessments, interpreting the results of health assessments or evaluations for the purpose of case planning and coordination, facilitating the acquisition of any necessary court authorizations for procedures or medications, monitoring and oversight of psychotropic medications, advocating for the health care needs of the child, and ensuring the creation of linkage among various providers of care.


Providing followup contact to assess the child’s progress in meeting treatment goals.


At the request of and under the direction of a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, assisting the nonminor dependent in accessing physical health and mental health care, coordinating the delivery of health and mental health care services, advocating for the health and mental health care that meets the needs of the nonminor dependent, assisting the nonminor dependent to make informed decisions about his or her health care by, at a minimum, providing educational materials, and assisting the nonminor dependent to assume responsibility for his or her ongoing physical and mental health care management.


The services provided by foster care public health nurses under this section shall be limited to those for which reimbursement may be claimed under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act at an enhanced rate for services delivered by skilled professional medical personnel. Notwithstanding any other law, this section shall be implemented only if, and to the extent that, the department determines that federal financial participation, as provided under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.), is available.


(1)The State Department of Health Care Services shall seek any necessary federal approvals for child welfare agencies to appropriately claim enhanced federal Title XIX funds for services provided pursuant to this section.


Commencing in the fiscal year immediately following the fiscal year in which the necessary federal approval pursuant to paragraph (1) is secured, county child welfare agencies shall provide health care oversight and coordination services pursuant to this section, and may accomplish this through agreements with local public health agencies.


(1)Notwithstanding Section 10101, prior to the 2011–12 fiscal year, there shall be no required county match of the nonfederal cost of this program.


Commencing in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.


Public health nurses shall receive training developed pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 16501.4.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 16501.3’s source at ca​.gov