The Kids Health Harbor, at the SIU Center for Family Medicine, is a medical home for youth in foster care and other challenging family situations. The clinic opened in January of 2019 and has expanded through the support of Family Medicine. The services provided are based on trauma informed care and include the integration of pediatric behavioral health.
Kids Health Harbor providers and staff have all had personal experiences or received education on the policies and health care directives outlined by Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Goals of the clinic include, removing barriers to access health care, decreasing delays in care, avoiding repetitive care and assuring continuity for the pediatric patient. Additionally, the health care team is here to help young children develop resiliency and have better long-term health care outcomes after experiencing adverse childhood events.
We provide patients with
- Initial and comprehensive exams in a safe, pediatric friendly environment
- Integrated mental health care
- Care coordination with all members of the multidisciplinary team
- Continued care after permanency plan complete
- Focused transition plan to adult healthcare services
- Medical advocacy/trauma education/events
The clinic provides new patient comprehensive assessments for children and adolescents upon entry into foster care and provides ready-guidance for youth-in-care and the families caring for them. Clinic services include well-child checkups, immunizations, after hour phone support and same-day appointments for acute needs. Supplemental specialty care within SIU Family Medicine is also available with behavioral health, sleep medicine, dietitian support, and gender equity care providers.
Rebecca Howard, director of the Kids Health Harbor, states that "Sometimes it can be easy to forget how family stressors and foster care impacts the lives of children. Children are amazing and resilient, but we can't overlook how trauma, neglect and disruption affect the developing brain." Children in foster care are complex and health care can be overwhelming and confusing for youth-in-care that move to a new home. Behaviors can be challenging and difficult for families to understand.
To help combat these hardships, the Kids Health Harbor works with the child, family, behavioral health, and child protection team in a holistic manner to help build resiliency and improve the health of children who have been displaced.
To learn more about Kids Health Harbor or to schedule an appointment, call SIU Medicine at 217-545-8000.
A federally qualified health center
The SIU Center for Family Medicine is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center or FQHC. We have a governing board composed of patients and community members to help us serve the needs of the people of Springfield and other central and southern Illinois communities that we serve. In addition, our FQHC status enables us to offer special programs for low income and uninsured patients. We offer expert, convenient care to entire families, regardless of their ability to pay. Learn more about our program as well as our financial assistance options.