Supporting the Well-Being of Children In Foster Care and Families

Means providing the whole-person health care they deserve statewide.

North Carolina’s children in foster care and their families have been subject to a regionally-managed, fragmented system of care, contributing to poor outcomes, placement instability and delays in achieving the security and permanency these families need. That is why it is time for our state to transition to a single source statewide plan, investing in more evidence-based treatments for youth and families, and leveraging resources from across North Carolina to alleviate lapses in care. We support the state’s effort to move away from the current regional approach, building out a robust program to support both youth in foster care and their families across the state.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC)’s Healthy Blue Medicaid plan already provides our families with integrated health care options that treat patients holistically, through a broad array of services and supports that meet their specific needs. We’ll bring this proven, collaborative, family-focused approach to youth in foster care, leading to better outcomes and reducing the burden on the child welfare system — all so families, no matter where they live in North Carolina, can get the care they need to stay healthy and stay together.

Our Vision

From Fragmented to Integrated – Improving North Carolina’s child welfare system through intensive, local coordination supported by a single statewide plan

Statewide Care

Family-Centered Care

Whole-Person Care


Mark Washington


Mark Washington

Executive Director, Healthy Blue North Carolina

Kristy Kent


Kristy Kent

Manager, County Engagement and Healthy Blue DSS Liaison, Healthy Blue North Carolina

Keith Cradle, Ph.D.


Keith Cradle, Ph.D.

Juvenile Services Liaison, Healthy Blue North Carolina

Jamilah McClain, LCSW


Jamilah McClain, LCSW

Program Manager, Healthy Blue North Carolina

John Thacker, LCMHC, LCAS


John Thacker, LCMHC, LCAS

Program Manager, Healthy Blue North Carolina

The Foster Care Advisory Council is a valuable resource that helps ensure foster youth and their families receive the highest quality of coordinated, trauma-informed, family-centered care.

Craig Bass


Craig Bass

Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Youth Network

Jan Elliot


Jan Elliot

Retired County Director (Pitt County)

Dana Marie Hagele, MD, MPH


Dana Marie Hagele, MD, MPH

Clinical Director, Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Carolina

Will Jones


Will Jones

CEO, Thompson Child & Family Focus

Jacqueline McKnight, PhD


Jacqueline McKnight, PhD

Deputy County Director, DSS Child Welfare Division, Mecklenburg County

Trent Taylor


Trent Taylor

Founder and CEO, Watch Me Rise

The Latest

Streamlining Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care

Foster care advocates in North Carolina are working towards coordinated statewide care for children in need of mental health resources.


June 30, 2022

First Lady Kristin Cooper Supports Local Foster Care Community

The Children's Home Society’s Raleigh Family Picnic celebrated the Triangle's local foster care community and included a donation of 60 pre-packed backpacks for children entering the foster care system.


June 15, 2022

$2 Million Effort to Address NC Behavioral Health Crisis

Eleven organizations awarded to improve access to behavioral health care services in North Carolina’s rural and marginalized communities. 


June 7, 2022

Over 700 “Comfort Cases” Packed for Children in Foster Care

Volunteers gathered for a “Packing Party” event, putting together over 700 packages to be donated to organizations that work with our foster youth.


May 20, 2022

New Alexander Youth Network Program to Support LGBTQ Youth

Blue Cross NC and the Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center are funding a pilot program to help recruit and train foster families to serve LGBTQ youth in foster care.


May 19, 2022

Children of Color Face an Invisible Threat. Here’s How We Can Support Them

Here in North Carolina, 69 of our 100 counties have no child psychiatrists; 27 have no psychiatrist at all. Failure to address this challenge now will have long-term consequences.


April 26, 2022

Aid For Youths Leaving Foster Care

The Flex Fund is working to provide assistance for youth who have aged out of the foster care system and need housing support.


March 27, 2022

The Push for WNC Affordable Housing

NCCEH’s Executive Director Ryan Fehrman on the need for affordable housing options in response to the rental gap in Buncombe County.  


January 9, 2022

Dr. McKnight on NC Foster Care 

Dr. Jacqueline McKnight shares her thoughts on the pressing issues facing youth in foster care.


December 7, 2021

Tackling Substance Use & Protecting Families 

Investing in prevention and treatment is crucial in building stable communities and protecting children of those dealing with substance abuse.  


November 30, 2021

Post-placement Depression & Supporting Adoptive Parents 

Psychological and social changes during parenthood are not unique to biological parents. Supporting parents through post-placement depression is crucial in protecting children.


November 12, 2021

Randolph County Program Sparks Hope

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has partnered with Open Table to develop a model program to help youth in foster care as they transition into life as independent adults.


October 20, 2021