Posted in: Madison Park


Feb. 9, 2024
A bunch of chart and graphs.
This week, NCDHHS announced the launch of its Child Behavioral Health dashboard as part of its commitment to improve the health and well-being of North Carolina children and families.

North Carolina has been ranked 42nd among states with the highest prevalence and lowest access to mental health services for youth, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death for North Carolina youth ages 10-18.

The Child Behavioral Health dashboard builds a data and analysis infrastructure across child-serving sectors to provide a more complete picture of the state of behavioral health in North Carolina. An important feature of the new dashboard is users can drill down the data by geography, race, ethnicity, age and gender to provide additional visibility into child behavioral health in underserved populations.

The information shared through this publicly available tool will help the department, as well as behavioral health providers, policymakers and stakeholders, to identify and address gaps and disparities in behavioral health services for children. Metrics will continue to be updated quarterly, based on data from Medicaid claims, and yearly, based on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988, or chat at You can also view the department’s “Open to Care” resources at

NC Medicaid is for More People

NC Medicaid now covers people ages 19 through 64 years with higher incomes. You may be able to get health care coverage through Medicaid even if you did not qualify before. Visit the Medicaid Expansion website to see if you are eligible.
A young boy brushing his teeth.
February is National Children's Dental Health Month
NCDHHS is emphasizing the importance of children's dental hygiene to overall health and well-being during National Children's Dental Health Month. Currently in North Carolina, nearly one in five kindergartners have untreated tooth decay, which can have long-term health impacts such as chronic disease. Dental decay, the most common chronic childhood disease, is largely preventable through routine dental care and healthy habits. However, access to care remains a primary barrier, particularly for low-income individuals and families. Qualified individuals and families can find Safety Net Dental Clinics, non-profit dental facilities where low-income families or individuals can go for dental care, in most of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Parents and caregivers can also find NC Medicaid-enrolled dentists for their children online. Parents should schedule regular dental check-ups for children starting at age one, brush their teeth twice daily, ask about fluoride varnish and dental sealants to protect their child's teeth from decay and model good oral health. Go to the NCDHHS website for more information. 
RFP Application Opens for Children and Family Specialty Plan
This week, NCDHHS released the request for proposal to hire the organization that will help manage the Children and Families Specialty Plan (CFSP). The first-of-its-kind statewide health plan will ensure access to comprehensive physical and behavioral health services for Medicaid-enrolled children, youth and families served by the child welfare system. The plan will cover an array of Medicaid-covered physical and behavioral health benefits regardless of the geographic location or situation the beneficiary is experiencing. It includes a broad range of behavioral health services and will be responsible for addressing unmet health-related resource needs, including housing, food, transportation and interpersonal violence. Organizations that are interested and eligible to submit a proposal to help manage the CFSP are encouraged to apply. The selected organization will be responsible for providing comprehensive benefits and robust care management that will serve as the central point of accountability for managing the health of members enrolled in the CFSP. 
A family of hands together holding a heart.
Funding for Counties to Help Children in DSS Custody
This week, NCDHHS distributed funds to county departments of social services (DSS) to help improve placements for children in DSS custody who have complex behavioral health needs. These critical funds come at a time when an average of 32 children are living in DSS offices each week because there is no place for them to go that is appropriate for their care. The DSS Emergency Placement Fund is a pilot program funded by the NC General Assembly in the 2023 North Carolina state budget. The program provides nearly $2.3 million this year and $5.5 million next year to assist county DSS offices in creating better, more reliable placement options for children in their custody who have behavioral health needs. The funds will help to improve outcomes by preventing children and youth from having to stay in a DSS office overnight while they await placement into Medicaid-funded treatment. The work is made possible by the Medicaid expansion signing bonus, which provided a historic $835 million investment to transform behavioral health for everyone in North Carolina, including children and families. 
A group of people
Inclusion Works Lunch and Learn
Join NCDHHS staff to learn about best practices to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on their path to achieving Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE). This month's webinar is on Feb. 21 at noon and features an Inclusion Works Partner Spotlight and discussion with Work Together NC. Register for the event. 
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