Anne Swerlick
September 25, 2018

Florida's School Based Health Services: An Excellent Foundation for Improving Child Health

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Changes in federal policies give Florida school districts new opportunities to access millions more in federal Medicaid dollars to support and expand school-based health services, as detailed in a recent Florida Policy Institute report.

There is a dire need for additional services, particularly in low-income communities. Florida's current infrastructure for the provision of school-based health services provides an excellent foundation for building up these resources. By engaging and building upon the following existing programs and resources, Florida could improve the health of Florida's most vulnerable children:

  • Florida's School Health Program
  • School Health & Medicaid Certified Match Programs  
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas Health Safety Act
  • Medicaid Managed Care Program
  • Local Models for School-based Health Services
  • School Health Advisory Committees & School Health Plans

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