Project Summary

The Children’s Hospital of New Jersey’s (CHoNJ) School Based Youth Services Program (SBYSP) serves a rapidly growing population of school children at four sites in the Newark, NJ public school system. Two thousand five hundred children were enrolled in the four school-based health centers at the end of 2000/2001 school year.

Dental care is provided by a dentist and dental hygienist at all sites and includes: screenings, education and preventive care. Forty percent of the first children screened need urgent/emergent interventions. Another 40% need routine intervention. Newark’s public school children are poor, covered by Medicaid or uninsured, and contend with urban decay, violence and drugs as regular parts of their lives. Within this context, dental health is a low priority. An intense effort is needed to change attitudes and behaviors, and to provide assistance to receiving care. Under this project, we will hire two outreach workers to assist children to overcome multiple systemic barriers to care. The outreach workers will work in concert with the existing SBYSP staff, Newark public school staff, parent volunteers and the extensive network of groups that collaborate with SBYSP to achieve the following goals:

  • Educate the children and their families about the importance of dental health,
  • Assist children in overcoming systemic barriers to care, and
  • Develop a tracking and monitoring system that can be replicated by similar programs.

The project will develop a tracking system based on Clinical Fusion, a clinic management software program designed specifically for school based clinics.

Caring for Kids is funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, a nonpartisan policy and program center based at The George Washington University.