Under the best of circumstances, providing appropriate and comprehensive health, behavioral and supportive services to adolescents poses many challenges. Most adolescents are healthy, but many engage in risky behavior, develop unhealthful habits, and experience physical and mental health conditions that can jeopardize their immediate health and contribute to poor health in adulthood.
Further, certain groups of adolescents are particularly vulnerable to poor health outcomes (such as those in the foster care system; homeless; in families that have recently immigrated to the US; lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; or in the juvenile justice system).
CAI builds the capacity of a diverse set of youth-serving organizations to mount effective screening programs to support interventions focused on risk assessment, health promotion, and fostering of positive youth development in a manner consistent with the medical home model. CAI works with their clients to design and deliver health, behavioral, and supportive services that enhance coordination of care, create opportunities to discuss sensitive health and behavioral issues, and offer high-quality, evidence-based care. CAI works with their clients to improve adolescents’ access to appropriate services, build systems and processes that improve the quality and accessibility of services and identifies ways to foster patient-provider relationships that can lead to better health for adolescents.
CAI helps organizations identify and target services to those most vulnerable and supports institutions in balancing the need for privacy and confidentiality with the important role that parents and caregivers play in healthy development. CAI works with their clients to develop and implement measures to assess the performance of their systems in addressing the unique healthcare needs of adolescents across a wide range of areas.