Village Care Program

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When children have to be placed outside of their biological family, they already face challenges. They need security. And adults they can trust. Many of these children have medical needs that require more than one specialist. Coordinated medical, developmental, and mental health care is needed for their well-being. UVA Health Children’s Village Care Program (VCP) provides that kind of care.

The Village Care Program’s goal is to provide a village of support and collaboration for each of these children. Through this, we hope to foster healing, connectedness, and resilience.

What Makes the Village Different?

Children living in kinship care, foster care, or group settings have had their lives disrupted. Often, they’ve been affected by trauma and loss. They need trauma-informed care.  

Sometimes their medical care has also been disrupted. Important early symptoms may have been missed. And coordination of care is often a challenge.

The VCP team builds a comprehensive care plan for them. This care plan, called the health passport, is used across systems for planning and communication. It’s also kept current in the child’s electronic medical record.

What to Expect at a Village Care Visit

Village care visits are personalized to meet each child’s needs. But here’s an idea of what to expect.

Initial Visits

At our first and second visit, we’ll focus on stabilizing. We’ll walk through:

  • Trauma and stress assessment
  • Resilience factors
  • Mental health screening

Our first visits sometimes also include assessments from:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Clinical psychology

The child should attend the first visit with the foster family. A virtual appointment with a nurse practitioner is offered to the family of origin within 2 weeks of the first visit.

Ongoing Care at VCP and in the Community

Together we’ll determine the need for continued care and management. If a primary care provider outside of the UVA Health network makes more sense, we can provide a smooth hand-off to outside providers. We’ll continue to be available to those providers for consultation.

Most children are seen every 3-6 months during the first year of care and more frequently around transitions. The Village Care Team also refers to outside resources and providers that have experience working with children with trauma and complex relationship needs.

    Services Provided

    • Standard physical exam
    • Vision and hearing screening
    • Dental screening
    • Nutrition screening
    • Initial medication review and management
    • Developmental screening and assessment
    • Depression, anxiety, and trauma screening
    • Educational support
    • Assessment of trauma, resilience, and relationship health
    • Care coordination
    This foster child travels to her new family with a backpack and teddy bear. We create healthcare plans that will go with her, too.

    No Falling Through the Cracks

    The Village Care Program keeps kids - and their healthcare needs - from falling through the cracks. Find out how, plus support resources for foster parents.

    Read more


    Who can make a referral to the VCP?

    Children are referred to the VCP by:

    Most of the time, the referral is made to the VCP by the Department of Social Services. This happens within the first 48 hours of the child’s foster care placement, ideally. Our team reviews their available records and schedule an initial visit within 5 business days.

    During the referral process, we will need legal documentation. Depending on the child’s situation, what we need may vary. You should call the number above and we’ll walk you through what to send.