Children in foster care tend to have more medical needs and chronic health conditions compared to children in the general population. For many, health care frequently occurs in emergency rooms and in the absence of consistent, supportive caregivers. These are just some of the factors that put children in foster care at greater risk for developing medical trauma.
Although recognition is increasing that these children have experienced emotional trauma due to histories of abuse and neglect, medical trauma in this population often goes unrecognized. When caring for children in the foster care system, be alert to signs of medical trauma. The Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress has created the Medical Trauma Assessment and Action Form, a brief screener designed especially for children and youth in foster care and group homes. Use this screener with your foster care patients to identify those at higher risk for medical trauma and to make a plan for addressing it.
What tools do you use to screen for medical trauma among children in foster care?