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Why FaCES?

Since 2003, the Foster Children Evaluation Service (FaCES) has been providing comprehensive and coordinated health care services for children in foster care settings. Focused on the whole child, we are here to support the youth in foster care, their caregivers and the community to achieve wellness for every child in foster placement.

Providing comprehensive, coordinated health care services

Our History: An audit conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (now Department of Children and Families) in 1999 showed that many foster families were not able to access care for their children quickly – only 11% of children in foster placement had received a medical exam within one month of entering foster care. Care for these children was known to be fragmented, discontinuous, and incomplete. Medical records – with their immunization history, medication and allergy documentation, and other relevant information – were often difficult to obtain.

In November, 2003 FaCES opened its doors to all children in Worcester DCF from birth to 5 years old. Since that time, FaCES has expanded its service, and now serves children from birth to 18 years old. Visits to FaCES include an initial screening visit within seven days of placement and a comprehensive visit within 30 days. We obtain all medical records and provide immunization updates and laboratory evaluations as necessary. Children in need of medication or durable medical equipment have these needs addressed. All children receive developmental, mental health and trauma screenings, and the appropriate subspecialty, early intervention, education and mental health referrals are coordinated. On site we provide access to psychiatric counseling services and we coordinate in-home support for caregivers to help address the needs of children exposed to trauma. Caregivers are also supported to address the patient’s educational needs.

At the conclusion of the FaCES evaluation period, a Medical Evaluation Summary, summarizing all important health information, is provided to child welfare and to the Medical Home where the child will be followed while in foster care.