Administrators LEAD & MANAGE MY SCHOOL
Healthy Students, Promising Futures
State and Local Action Steps and Practices to Improve School-Based Health

High-Impact Opportunity #3
Provide or Expand Services That Support At-Risk Students, Including Through Medicaid-funded Case Management.


Schools and health organizations should work together to provide wraparound services (services that address the full spectrum of health, education, safety, and welfare needs) to students, in order to remove barriers to learning that may be created by health conditions, exposure to violence or trauma, or instability or stress in the community or at home.

Research Shows

Wraparound services have been shown to benefit children, including those who are low-income, chronically absent, homeless, or otherwise at risk of falling behind in school. Childhood trauma or maltreatment, such as neglect and abuse, can negatively affect brain development. Coordinated services that protect young children from the effects of trauma are likely to promote brain development and learning ability.


LEAs and schools can, in accordance with an approved state Medicaid plan and applicable federal privacy laws, use Medicaid funding to support district and school-based case managers, who can work to connect Medicaid-enrolled students in schools to necessary health care and related support services (e.g., housing, transportation). (Please refer to page XX for additional information on key federal laws protecting student data and privacy.)

LEAs and schools should explore, in compliance with applicable privacy laws, data sharing agreements with health organizations to address the academic and physical, mental, and behavioral needs of students at risk of falling behind and/or dropping out of school.


At Park Elementary, in the Hayward Promise Neighborhood in Hayward, California, intervention specialists and case managers work together to support health and wellness, parent education, academics, social services, and mental health services as part of a cradle-to-career continuum. These coordinators manage referrals for students, which enable Park staff to better support students' and families' needs. For example, one such referral resulted in a public health nurse conducting biweekly home visits to a family to help them complete an action plan and enroll in Medi-Cal health benefits.


  1. Suter, J.C. and E.J. Bruns. (2009). Effectiveness of the Wraparound Process for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12(4), 336-351.
  2. Shonkoff, J. P. (2012). The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress. Pediatrics, 129: e232—e246.

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Last Modified: 07/26/2016