Get Started: Care for Foster Children

Get Started: Care for Foster Children

We are dedicated exclusively to meeting the special health care needs of children in foster care. Whether it’s medical or behavioral health care, we work with you to help your child reach their full potential. Here’s how to get started.

Step-by-step health care for your foster child

Because we know that children in foster care have often been affected by childhood trauma and stress, the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, at Children's Health℠, recommends making your first medical appointment a priority. Texas law requires children and teens entering foster care receive a health screening visit within 72 business hours of placement and again within 30 days of placement.

Step 1: Enroll with a doctor

To avoid delays in being seen by a health provider, it’s important to register your foster child as soon as they are placed in your home:

  • In Dallas, please register with Dr. Hilda Loria by calling 866-912-6283 before your appointment.
  • In Plano, please register with Dr. Mayra Nieves-Rios by calling 866-912-6283 before your appointment.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment

To schedule a new patient appointment for your child, please call:

We recommend that you keep a calendar so you can track your child’s follow-up medical and behavioral health appointments.

We have been to other community providers, but it is the outstanding level of care that our children receive at the Rees-Jones Center that keeps us coming back.
Foster parent

Step 3: Talk about the appointment

Prepare your child for routine health visits by explaining the purpose of the visit in age-appropriate language. Be sure to speak positively to reduce any fears and promote a healthy relationship between your foster child and the doctor. Create a list of questions for the health care provider to answer during the appointment and encourage your foster child to do the same.

Step 4: Bring these helpful records

We know and understand that records can be difficult when a foster child is newly placed. Any of the following documents that you can be provide before or at your first appointment will be helpful:

  • Immunization records
  • Current medications (including dosages and instructions)
  • Former or current doctors and behavioral health providers and any available records (for example, discharge summaries or psychological documents)
  • A list of previous schools (sometimes immunization records can be collected from schools)
  • One of the following required legal documents (which can be faxed to 214-456-3741 in Dallas and 214-867-5449 in Plano.):
    • Medical Consenter Form 2085-B (Foster Placement)
    • Medical Consenter Form 2085-KO (Kinship Placement)
    • Court order establishing Permanent Managing Conservatorship (PMC)
    • Court order establishing Temporary Managing Conservatorship (TMC)
    • Safety plan agreement from Child Protective Services

Late arrivals

Please arrive early for your appointment. Late arrivals will only be seen with your doctor’s approval, and you may be asked to wait until the next available appointment or reschedule for another day.

What to expect at your appointment

Starting with your first visit, your child will see the pediatrician or nurse practitioner who will care for them at all routine and illness visits. During your appointment, your child’s care team may also include additional experts from Children’s Health and UT Southwestern, including:

  • Nurses and medical assistants
  • CPS liaisons
  • Nurse coordinators
  • Early childhood specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Psychiatrist
  • Medical students

After-hours care and the nurse advice line

Once you have completed your first visit, we can help with any questions or concerns about your foster child’s health. Please feel free to discuss your concerns during your appointments. In addition, a nurse is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call and select option 4:

Please do not hesitate to call. We’re here to help you.

If you have a sick child who needs to see a doctor after hours or on weekends, please call 214-456-7000 and ask the operator to page the on-call Foster Care Provider (available for established patients only).

Missed Appointment Policy

Providing exceptional care for patients and families is dependent on your attending all scheduled appointments. If you need to reschedule, please contact the clinic at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time at:

Providing advance notice gives the clinic the opportunity to offer that appointment time to other children awaiting care. 

Following two consecutive no shows, we will contact your Child Placing Agency and/or Child Protective Services to better coordinate the plan of care. We are also unable to refill prescriptions, provide school or work notes, and may delay pending therapy services if you do not keep your appointments.

If the child has moved, please contact our clinic so we can update the patient’s chart.

Frequently asked questions FAQs

  • Who can be referred to the foster care clinic?

    Any child or youth with current or previous involvement with the foster care system is eligible to receive care at our clinic, pending insurance. This includes all types of placements (i.e. foster parents, kinship and fictive kin, adoptive parents, birth parents). 

    If there are questions about your child's eligibility, please contact our clinics directly.

  • What do I need to bring to the appointment?

    Please visit get started with health care for your foster child to find what you should bring to your first appointment.

  • My new foster child doesn’t have all the listed information needed. Can we still come to the first appointment?

    Yes. Our clinic team includes CPS liaisons who will reach out to caseworkers and review CPS records to get some of the needed information. Our nurses also will work to request records from previous health care providers. Please bring whatever you have, especially your placement paperwork. We’ll take it from there.

  • How long will our first visit take?

    Your first appointment with a medical provider will last at least one hour and includes time for both you and your child to talk with health care providers. An appointment with the medical and behavioral health team lasts at least 1.5 hours. This is to allow for multiple providers to meet with you and your foster child. All future appointment times will depend on the child’s illness and needs.

  • Can we come to the clinic for therapy or behavioral health care only?

    No. To receive behavioral health services, our clinic must be your foster child’s primary care provider (PCP). This is a key part of our integrated model and allows your child’s medical and behavioral health providers to work together to meet all their medical and behavioral health needs.

  • Does the clinic report to CPS about behavioral health and medical visits?

    While our clinic works closely with CPS caseworkers and staff to address your foster child’s needs and concerns, our focus is the care and support of you and your child. Each child in our care is covered by HIPAA. Only the legal guardian, medical consenter or a court-appointed party (such as CASA or an attorney) may talk with health care providers about a patient’s care, once we receive documentation about their permission.

  • Why can’t I access MyChart for my foster child?

    Because of the legal and confidential status of children in foster care, MyChart isn’t available through Children’s Health for foster care patients right now.