The Harris County Resources for Children and Adults Integrated Healthcare Clinic, a unique clinic dedicated to treating the trauma of children in foster care, is now the first Foster Care Center of Excellence in Harris County.
“You really are willing to go the extra mile to provide quality services to children who are in foster care,” said Robert Wells, Superior Health Services Transformation projects manager.
Wells presented the Center of Excellence designation Tuesday at a special ceremony celebrating the collaboration between Harris County Resources for Children and Adults, UTHealth, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Superior Health.
“We are proud to receive this designation,” said Joel Levine, Harris County Resources for Children and Adults executive director. “It is a reflection of the hard work our staff has done to ensure children with visible and invisible wounds can heal in a safe, inviting atmosphere.”
Superior Health gives the Center of Excellence title to clinics that meet a higher standard of care for children in DFPS custody covered through the Superior Health Medicaid plan. The Harris County Resources for Children and Adults Clinic is now the only clinic to receive the designation in Harris County and the second in Texas.
“We’ve developed the clinic into a true comprehensive medical home for children with CPS involvement by providing competent and compassionate pediatric care for the whole child,” said Dr. Kevin Lally, UTHealth chairman of the Pediatric Department and Pediatric Surgery.
UTHealth provides pediatric services to the clinic through Dr. Kim Cheung, who has worked there since 1994, and psychiatric services through Dr. Chris Frederick.
The Integrated Healthcare Clinic was established in 1972 to provide specialty services to meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma and been placed in DFPS care. It has been recognized as a one-of-a-kind clinic for offering medical, dental and mental health services in one location to all foster children in Harris County.
“What sets the Harris County Resources for Children and Adults clinic apart from others is its wide range of services through a team of providers who are specially-trained to work with traumatized children and their caregivers,” said Charlotte Donner, Clinical Services manager. “We treat the whole child and provide support to their caregivers.”
The Family Support Navigator program – added in 2015 as the clinic’s newest component – provides caregivers of children in state care with a personalized service utilizing parents who have first-hand experience with the complex social services system. The navigators become one-on-one coaches to relatives caring for children in DFPS care, aiming to reduce caregiver stress by providing community resources, parenting education and emotional support.
CJ Broussard-White, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Region 6A (Harris County) director, spoke during Tuesday’s event about the many ways Harris County Resources for Children and Adults aids the children in DFPS care, pointing out the difficulty of the work by the clinic staff.
“I know that it has not been easy, because when you think about the population that you serve, it can’t be easy,” Broussard-White said. “I know that you see a lot of things and you hear a lot of different things, but you have not given up. And because you have not given up, you have been recognized as a Center of Excellence.”
If you or someone you know cares for children in DFPS care, contact the clinic at 713-295-2570.