IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Meeting children's basic health needs: From patchwork to tapestry


  • Russ, Shirley
  • Garro, Nicole
  • Halfon, Neal


Few would deny that if a system were to be designed de novo to meet children's basic health needs, it would be radically different from the confusing and fragmented patchwork of programs in place today. While Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), have improved access to care, increased use of health care services, and reduced unmet health needs for low-income children, the impact of these programs on the quality of health care, and on children's health outcomes is less certain. At the same time, the prevalence of childhood chronic illness is increasing, there is an "epidemic" of obesity, and sizeable increases in reported developmental and behavioral problems and mental health issues. Our existing system of care appears ill-equipped to respond to this changing epidemiology. Unmet needs for care in childhood represent "time-bombs," likely to result in an explosion of chronic illness in mid-life. We propose a new approach to child health policy, based on the life course health development model in which health in childhood is regarded as a foundation for lifelong well-being. A new tapestry of comprehensive children's services, integrated across sectors, which fully address children's health needs and promote positive health, could set children on optimal health trajectories for life. This system could be a major component of the transformative change the nation is seeking to reduce health care costs and improve quality of life across the lifespan.

Suggested Citation

  • Russ, Shirley & Garro, Nicole & Halfon, Neal, 2010. "Meeting children's basic health needs: From patchwork to tapestry," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1149-1164, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:9:p:1149-1164

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:4:610-617_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ted Joyce & Andrew Racine & Cristina Yunzal-Butler, 2008. "Reassessing the WIC effect: Evidence from the Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 277-303.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2005.068742_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.055921_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. John Bennett, 2008. "Early Childhood Services in the OECD Countries: Review of the literature and current policy in the early childhood field," Papers inwopa08/50, Innocenti Working Papers.
    6. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile & Phongsack Manivong & Leslie L. Roos, 2010. "Child Health and Young Adult Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1986:76:2:178-184_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Schwamm, Jeffrey B., 1996. "Childhood disability determination for supplemental security income: Implementing the Zebley decision," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 621-635.
    9. Currie, Janet & Decker, Sandra & Lin, Wanchuan, 2008. "Has public health insurance for older children reduced disparities in access to care and health outcomes?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1567-1581, December.
    10. Alberto Palloni, 2006. "Reproducing inequalities: Luck, wallets, and the enduring effects of childhood health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(4), pages 587-615, November.
    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.087320_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.094771_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. John Bennett, 2008. "Benchmarks for Early Childhood Services in OECD Countries," Papers inwopa08/51, Innocenti Working Papers.
    14. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:4:505-512_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dang, Thang, 2017. "The Multiple Effects of Child Health Insurance in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 78614, University Library of Munich, Germany.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:9:p:1149-1164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.