Child Welfare

Given the turmoil leading to (and caused by) placement in foster care, it comes at no surprise foster care has a large impact on children.  How deep is that impact? Can it affect a child's health? 

Regardless of what facet of healthcare you work in, if you work in pediatrics, you see children and their families all day long. How many of them are involved with the child welfare system? 

Did you know May is Foster Care month? And do you know if children in the child welfare system experience medical treatment in the same ways that children in the general population do? 

Did you know that national data shows children in foster care, on average, have more medical needs than children in the general population?  And that approximately one in four children in foster care has an ongoing medical condition, and about one in ten has two or more?

Do children in the child welfare system experience medical treatment in the same ways that children in the general population do? To some degree, yes, they do. At the same time, there are notable differences in the life experiences and family circumstances of children in foster care compared to their peers outside the child welfare system.

Child welfare professionals understand impact of abuse and neglect on children in foster care, but the impact of medical trauma on these children may be less familiar. On average, children in foster care have greater healthcare needs than most kids yet they usually receive inconsistent health care before entering placement. 

How many times have you heard family members, friends or coworkers say they hate going to the doctor ...

When we hear the term “posttraumatic stress,” we often think of war or other violent experiences, but did you know that children can develop traumatic stress reactions from illness, injury, and resulting medical treatment?

Pediatric patients come from all walks of life. Health care professionals may encounter children who have been abused and/or neglected more often than expected.

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.