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Case Management for Social Needs of Youth and Families in School‐Based Health Centers

  • Keeton, Victoria F
  • Soleimanpour, Samira
  • Geierstanger, Sara
  • Schapiro, Naomi A
Publication Date
Jan 18, 2024
eScholarship - University of California
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BackgroundSchool-based health centers (SBHCs) are ideal settings to address social needs of youth and families. Case managers can play a vital role in social care interventions.MethodsWe piloted a program to incorporate a Case Manager into the care team of 1 SBHC serving 2 local schools with over 900 students and their surrounding communities. This project's purpose was to evaluate program feasibility, utilization, and acceptability. Our mixed-methods evaluation included analyses of data from electronic health records, client satisfaction surveys, and staff interviews.ResultsDuring the 6-month pilot, the Case Manager served 133 clients (about one third of all SBHC clients served) through 593 contacts. Most contacts included referrals to support services (90%) and 37% addressed newcomer immigrant adjustment. All 37 respondents to the satisfaction survey during the 3-month administration period (44% response rate) reported that the Case Manager made them feel comfortable asking for help; 95% reported getting the help they needed. The 7 SBHC staff interviewed shared many program benefits, including increased time for clinical services.Implications for school health policy, practice, and equityInequities in children's health and educational achievement are influenced by structural factors. Results from our pilot program demonstrate that SBHCs may be well-positioned to deliver social care interventions and that case managers enhance the ability to deliver quality care.ConclusionsSchool-based programs to address unmet social needs are critical to supporting learning and wellness for all youth. Robust studies are needed to further test the impacts of case management in SBHCs.

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