Children and youth in ACS care are entitled to the best possible care to remain healthy and well. Every effort is made to help children and youth thrive physically, mentally and emotionally.
While in foster care, you will receive preventive, screening, diagnostic, and treatment services necessary to keep you healthy and well.
Youth who age out of care at 18 can receive health coverage up to age 26. Talk to your case worker to learn more about health care that is available to you.
Sexual and Reproductive Health
We care about your sexual health and you should know that you have certain rights and resources. Learn more.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Youth in Foster Care Policy
Sexual & Reproductive Health Policy Messages & Best Practices
Special Medical Needs
These health programs can help meet your special medical needs and improve your health and well–being.
Bridges to Health (B2H)
Bridges to Health (B2H) is a New York State program that provides medical services to meet the needs of children and youth in ACS care who are:
- Seriously emotionally disturbed
- Medically fragile
- Developmentally disabled
B2H services are available in your own community and complement other types of medical services provided through other programs. The number of “slots” statewide is limited, applications are accepted on a first–come, first–serve basis, and you may be placed on a waiting list.
What services are available?
- Health care integration
- Family/Caregiver supports and services
- Skill building
- Day habilitation
- Special–Needs community advocacy and support
- Prevocational services
- Supported employment
- Planned respite
- Crisis avoidance, management and training
- Immediate crisis response services
- Intensive in–home supports
- Adaptive and assistive equipment
- Accessibility modifications
How to Get Services
Your foster care agency is responsible for coordinating any B2H services. Contact your agency Case Planner to sign up.
Download B2H brochure
Health Matters for Transgendered and Nonconforming Youth
Your agency can help you connect to services for transgendered and nonconforming youth.
Health care coverage is essential to a successful transition to living on your own. Unexpected health care costs can have harmful health and financial consequences if you do not have health coverage.
Youth who age out of care between 18 and 21 years old can receive Medicaid health insurance up to age 26, no matter how much income they earn. Talk to your case worker to learn more about health care that is available to you. Call the Human Resources Administration (HRA) Helpline at 1-888-692-6116 for more information or visit a Medicaid Office to apply for Medicaid.
- Plan early. Talk to your social worker so that there is no gap in your health care coverage when you leave foster care.
- Ask about Medicaid coverage for former foster young adults.
- Find the best coverage for you. Your caseworker can help you find health coverage and providers who will accept your insurance so that you can remain healthy and well.
Learn about your health insurance options at NYC Health Insurance Link.
If for any reason, there is a lapse in your health care coverage, you can still receive quality low cost medical and dental care at city hospitals and dental schools that are affiliated with our teaching hospitals.
Health care is available from your school health center or local hospitals and community health centers:
Community Healthcare Centers
School–based Health Centers
Your social worker is required to provide you with a copy of your medical records when you leave care. The medical records should contain information about all medical care you received while in ACS care.
Make sure the records include:
- The name, phone number and address for your primary physician (the doctor you were seeing regularly while in the care of Children’s Administration)
- The name, phone number and address of any other doctor or medical facility from which you received on–going medical treatment.
Keep this information in a safe place with all other important personal documents.
For more information on health and wellness in NYC, go to NYC.gov
Resources for Expecting and Parenting Youth
Guide to Working with Young Parents in Out of Home Care
Resource Guide for Expectant Parenting Youth
If you are expecting or already have a child, here are some resources for you and your child:
Parent Support, Home Visitation & Case Management
The ACS Teen Specialist Unit (TSU) works with your foster care agency to:
- Improve educational outcomes.
- Reduce abuse and maltreatment of expecting and parenting youth.
- Improve youth’s self–esteem and self–sufficiency to parent their children.
- Deliver comprehensive services to support youth well–being.
- Provide ongoing assessment, advocacy, referrals, and follow–up.
TSU programs are designed to promote well–being for the parenting youth and child:
- Young Fathers’ Convening – An annual meeting to empower young fathers to become positive contributors in the lives of their children and in the community.
- College Tours – An opportunity for expecting and parenting teen mothers to explore a unique college experience.
- Health and Wellness Retreats – Expectant and parenting youth learn about healthy life styles and planning for the future.
- Parent Toddler Wellness – Classes for expectant and parenting youth with their children.
- Co–Parenting Workshops – If you are a parenting youth, ACS can help you and your co–parent learn the skills to help ensure the happiness, stability and continued well–being of your child. TSU partners with community–based agencies to offer co–parenting workshops for both parents.
Ask your caseworker about signing up a TSU program.
To contact TSU: Call (212) 676-6001.
Resources for Teens and Young Adults
All information on the websites below is for informational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, speak to a health professional.
Teen Health and Wellness
New York State Office of Children and Families
New York State Office of Mental Health