Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC)

Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care is a public health nursing program. The program is within the Department of Family and Children's Services. HCPCFC provides care coordination for medical, dental, psychotropic medications, and mental health services, for children in foster care. 

HCPCFC public health nurses:

  • Help families find a primary care provider
  • Coordinate care for foster children to ensure access to needed services
  • Manage the creation and update of the health and education passport
  • Review incoming medical records to assess each child’s health needs
  • Assist with the child’s foster care team to address health issue
  • Provide support and health education for children in out-of-home placement
  • Serve as a resource to social workers, parents, and community health partners
  • Monitor approved psychotropic medications

Who is eligible:

Santa Clara County's foster children with out of home placement.

Physical exam requirements:

Physical exams are a requirement for all children in foster care. Exams must be completed within 30 days of placement.

  • Multiple checkups are necessary for foster children ages 0-36 months.
  • Foster children over 3 years of age should receive a physical exam yearly.

Dental exam requirements:

Dental exams are a requirement for all children in foster care after 12 months of age. Exams must be completed within 30 days of initial placement. Foster children should then receive dental exams every 6 months.

What to bring to your appointment:

  • Health Contact Form for the provider to fill out
  • Health and Education Passport
  • Vaccine (shot) record
  • Medi-Cal card
  • Any available health records
  • List of questions and concerns

After each appointment, complete a Health Contact Form. Turn in the completed form to HCPCFC via mail, email [email protected] or fax 408-792-1411.


    • Review of health history
    • Physical examination
    • ​​​​​​​Oral health exam and routine referral to a dentist for children over 12 months of age
    • Nutrition screening
    • Vision and hearing screening
    • Behavioral screening
    • Vaccines may be given (if needed)
    • Tests may be ordered (if needed)
    • Health and wellness education
    • Referrals to specialists and community programs as needed


    • Full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, and gums to assess health
    • Teeth cleaning 
    • Dentist may show you and your child proper brushing and flossing
    • If needed, X-rays may be taken


    • Take your foster child to medical, dental, counseling, and other appointments as necessary
    • Maintain health history for your foster child by submitting a completed Health Contact Form/After Visit Summary to HCPCFC
    • Notify your foster child's health provider (doctor), social worker, and public health nurse of any changes in medication (including supplements and over the counter medications)

    The Psychotropic Medication Monitoring and Oversight (PMM&O) public health nurse will follow up monthly with resource families when a child takes approved psychotropic medication. This is to monitor medication is taken as prescribed, potential side effects and adverse reactions, and assess the child is receiving therapeutic services.


    Inform your foster child's doctor (prescriber), social worker, and public health nurse if your foster child experiences

    • changes in sleep patterns
    • changes in appetite
    • changes in behaviors

    Get immediate attention from the nearest emergency department.  Call 911 or local crisis team if your foster child experiences

    • suicidal thoughts
    • allergic reaction (involving swelling of the throat or difficulty breathing)


    • Inform the prescriber, social worker, and public health nurse when the child consistently refuses to take the medications for more than 3 consecutive days.  This helps the team work with you to make a plan.
    • Medications work best when taken regularly, so it is important to follow instructions.
    • Sudden discontinuation of medication may negatively affect the child’s health.

    You should contact your HCPCFC public health nurse for:

    • Questions or concerns about your foster child's health needs
    • Access to medical and/or dental care
    • Health and Education Passport
    • Health Contact Form


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