Care Van Program
About the Care Van Program
Established in 1991, the Caring for Children Foundation of Texas is a 501(c)3 organization, funded by community contributions, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants and in-kind donations. The foundation's signature program is the Care Van® Program which provides access to immunizations, oral care and health education for uninsured and medically underserved children at no cost to their families. "Care Vans" are uniquely designed to eliminate barriers that commonly prevent children from receiving on-time, age-appropriate immunizations and dental care in traditional health care settings. It's the only statewide program of this kind! Care Vans travel to schools, churches, shopping malls and community events to conduct health outreach services. Additionally, through extended health education collaborations, the Care Van Program helps provide health, hygiene and wellness education for children and adolescents. The program focuses on preventative health initiatives to foster healthier lifestyles for Texans.
For decades, immunizations have helped millions of people avoid life-threatening diseases. Yet, millions of children living in Texas still go without the necessary immunizations to lead healthy, happy lives due to a lack of affordability and access to medical care. Vaccinating children is one of the most direct, simple and cost-effective ways to keep kids healthy. More importantly, low immunizations levels compromise gains in all areas of health. The underprivileged and most vulnerable kids who need immunizations the most continue to be the least likely to receive them. Working with schools and community host sites in select regions, Care Vans are able to help thousands of children each year receive the vaccines they need to build healthier futures. Immunization outreach helps reduce the potential of childhood disease outbreaks like measles, educates parents about the importance of sibling immunization, and reduces potential hospitalization costs for sick children. Since this mobile outreach program began in 1997, nearly 1.3 immunizations have been administered to children through the Care Vans. In addition, immunization information is entered in the Texas State Immunization Registry (ImmTrac) so children's vaccine history is readily available for parents. We're working to improve the health of Texans, one child at a time.
Going to the dentist is an every 6-month event for many people. But some children never make it to the dentist throughout their entire childhood – for various reasons. Children without access to dental care suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, pain and missing permanent teeth. Uninsured children suffer even more, with twice as much tooth decay as their more affluent counterparts. Working to help overcome barriers to access, Care Vans teamed with several clinical dental partners to transport portable, free-standing dental equipment into elementary schools and head-start centers to offer free oral care – includes screenings, cleaning and sealants. The goal is to help reduce oral health issues among Texas children while maintaining overall mouth health. Since 2008, more than 260,000 children have been provided oral health services at no cost to families. We're creating bright smiles and building healthy futures!
The Care Van® Program is operated through the Caring for Children Foundation of Texas and with thanks to lead statewide sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. In this role, the organization covers 100 percent of the administrative costs of the Caring Foundation. Working with the foundation is a natural extension of the company's proud history of caring for the residents of Texas.
Center for Disease Control
Texas Department of State Health Services
Vaccine Checklist for Texas Schools
Oral Health Basics – CDC