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Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

Close up of young mother with infant against her cheek

In California, 15.5 percent of children have special health care needs, which translates to about 1.4 million children across the state. Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) include infants, children and youth from birth to age 21 who have one or more chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and require special health and support services. To better serve this population, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Division collaborates with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and other partners to improve systems of care at the state and local level, promotes collaboration between agencies, and provides case management, family engagement, screening and links to services.

Program Profile

NATIONAL VISION: Ensure optimal health and quality of life for all children and youth with special health needs and their families.

OUR WORK: Through the Title V Block Grant, California works to promote developmental screening, local systems for referrals and linkages to needed services, high quality health care, access to primary and specialty care, and promotes medical home and transition services for CYSHCN.

MCAH is currently engaged in a year of learning to connect with stakeholders, build partnerships, and expand our knowledge about the greatest needs and opportunities to support CYSHCN and their families. 

By July 2019, MCAH plans to culminate this year of learning by collaboratively establishing a comprehensive strategic plan to guide future Title V-funded efforts to serve this important population.

WE SERVE: Infants, children and youth, birth-21 years, who have one or more chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and require health and support services.

FUNDING: CYSHCN efforts are supported by the California Department of Public Health using federal funds from the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.

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