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Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC)

Program Overview

The Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC) is a public health program of the State of California/Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency. The mission of the program is to meet the medical, dental, mental, and developmental health needs of children and youth in court-ordered, out-of-home placement or foster care. Children in foster care are placed away from their families primarily due to neglect and abuse. Foster children tend to have more illness, more developmental delays, more mental health issues and dental caries. All children placed in foster care in California become eligible for Medi-Cal health insurance. Each time a child has a change in placement, they are eligible for a new well child exam. 

The Public Health Nurse (PHN) is a consultant and liaison to social workers, foster parents, and probation officers. The HCPCFC PHN is co-located with social workers at the Human Services Department, Family and Children’s Services. They are responsible for assurance of foster children’s health by helping foster parents obtain timely comprehensive health assessments and dental examinations and immunizations, expediting referrals to specialty medical care (such as cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, etc.), coordinating health services for foster children placed in and out of Santa Cruz County and out-of-state, providing medical documentation and proof to the court as needed, and providing medical education through the interpretation of medical reports and training for foster care team members . The PHN also participates in the creation and update of the Health and Education Passport, an electronic health record required by law for every foster child.

If you would like more information about the Santa Cruz HCPCFC, please call the Public Health Nurse at 831-763-8101.

Additional Resources and Links

Services & Eligibility


The State Medi-Cal insurance program provides comprehensive physical health, mental health, and dental services.
There are numerous medical and dental providers in Santa Cruz County that will accept foster children with Medi-Cal insurance as patients. All Santa Cruz Safety Net Clinics will accept foster children as patients.

  • Well Child Exam(Medical Contact Form)
  • Dental Exam
  • Education and Training
  • Health and Education Passport (HEP)


Any child between 0 to 21 years of age that falls into any of the categories below:

  • Youth in juvenile system with an order from the court for foster care placement
  • Youth with an order from court for foster care placement
  • Youth on probation with an order from court for foster care placement