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Orange County Receives Flexible Funding from Cardinal Innovations to Help Children Entering Foster Care

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — April 22, 2021
Charlotte, NC, April 22, 2021 – Cardinal Innovations Healthcare announced on Thursday that it will provide over $1 million as part of the Child Welfare Enhancement Fund to support children entering foster care in Orange County. This reflects Cardinal’s long-term commitment to serving the most vulnerable populations of Orange County.
 
In November 2020, Cardinal Innovations launched a special program aimed at supporting children in custody of social services departments in its 20-county region. The plan includes a $30 million investment to fund a monthly payment, referred to as sub-capitation, for every Medicaid-eligible child in foster care.
 
Counties may use these Medicaid funds creatively for costs such as emergency placements, preliminary or transitional behavioral healthcare or social determinants of health such as housing, transportation or food insecurity. The program is modeled after successful programs in other states and creates a mechanism for counties to have immediate access to needed funds.
 
“The moment a child enters the custody of Social Services is a critical juncture,” said Trey Sutten, CEO of Cardinal Innovations. “This program is designed to bridge gaps at that time of need by providing supplemental, flexible funding to counties. This helps to address the acute needs of these children sooner and gives them a better chance for success.”
 
These funds allow Orange County to make an immediate impact on permanency outcomes for children in foster care.
 
This funding agreement is part of a larger child welfare reform effort by Cardinal Innovations. Additional components include immediate access to a care coordinator, shorter authorization times and an expanded network of providers. The plan also includes steps to improve overall service delivery, such as reduced emergency department utilization and increased access to services and providers in the communities it serves.
 
The investment coincides with statewide planning for the fall 2021 implementation of the Family First Services Prevention Act (FFPSA). “Research tells us that children and youth have better long-term outcomes if they are anchored to a family. Supporting local Departments of Social Services through these investments provides real resources to help sustain biological, kinship, and foster families. I appreciate the trust extended by Orange County,” Sutten said. “The path forward is grounded in us working hand in hand, jointly focused on improving the health, safety, and stability of our citizens.”  
 
About Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is a specialized health plan and care coordinator for Medicaid recipients and the under- and uninsured in North Carolina with complex behavioral and special needs. Cardinal Innovations connects people with treatment and support for mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders through a network of providers in their communities. The organization serves this important role in 20 counties. In 2020, Cardinal Innovations administered nearly $850 million for the care of 825,000 people in the region and invested more than $50 million to improve support systems and to respond to the pandemic. Cardinal Innovations also works with local governments to address public health concerns such as homelessness, suicide prevention, child welfare and domestic violence through education, engagement and outreach. www.cardinalinnovations.org

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