Iowa Establishes School-Based Resource Centers to Coordinate Child Health Services

Child health services decategorization project

Sometimes one small cry for help reveals a much bigger problem. For example, when a school referred a second-grade girl to Scott County Decategorization Project (DECAT), a family service coordinator made a home visit. It was then that the girl's mother voiced two major concerns: her three-year-old son was "out of control" and the girl's father had been recently arrested on multiple drug charges.

Because DECAT provides links to many other programs, this same family service coordinator could arrange for services the family needed: parenting skills classes, substance abuse education, marital counseling, and child care. The coordinator also linked the family to agencies offering financial, legal, and medical assistance.

Who is served?

DECAT targets children and families who are eligible for Medicaid, and low-income families without health insurance coverage. The program's family service centers provide care coordination for any child or family having assistance needs. Health promotion and disease prevention programs are open to all Scott County children and families.

"I can't begin to tell you how significant the impact of having the Family Service Center at J.B. Young [Intermediate School] has been. The ability to provide these services to our students and their families has made a tremendous difference in the success of our students and in the morale of the staff. Having once experienced these services in a school setting, I cannot imagine doing without them." — Rex Hutchison, Principal, J.B. Young Intermediate School