One of the biggest barriers that keeps low-income families from getting the health services they need for their children is the sheer number of agencies they have to visit. Each agency is in a different location and has its own requirements and staff. In Texarkana, however, underserved residents are now able to receive comprehensive care by working with one care coordinator.
Each of 36 local agencies and groups in the Texarkana's Our Children First Coalition has sent staff members to a special training program to learn how to provide comprehensive services drawing on resources from all the agencies. Each of these "super" case managers is now cross-training other staff members in the participating agencies.
Who is served?
The project serves all children requiring assistance from multiple agencies. Of particular concern are teens who are pregnant or who have young children, children diagnosed with serious emotional disturbance, and children who are at-risk or are in out-of-home placement.
"The Miller County Child Health Initiative has had a dramatic impact on this community. For the first time in decades, we have almost a hundred agencies and service providers working together to achieve a common goal: the improvement of service delivery to children and families in our community."—Gerald A. Bedwell, President, Temple Memorial Rehabilitation Center