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FOSTER CARE: Overview

The approximately 35,000 children in foster care in New York State face multiple obstacles in their lives. With rare exceptions, all have suffered abuse and neglect. Most have significant untreated medical conditions or lack proper preventive health care. Up to half the foster care population experience developmental delays and school failure. Virtually all school-aged children have at least one mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, and up to half require professional intervention. In order to successfully care for these vulnerable children, medical and mental health professionals must understand their health risks and how to navigate the social services, legal, and healthcare systems. As with all children, you need to be an advocate for your patients. In the case of a foster child, you must also work with the county workers, the biological and foster parents, and the child's law guardian.


Key Concepts
line spacer The Foster Care System

  • Consent issues
  • The medical home concept

Health Concerns of Children in Foster Care

  • Appropriate medical evaluation checklists

Foster Parents

The Caseworker

Biological Parents and Reunification

Additional Resources

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Foster Care: Overview  Foster Care: Foster Care System  Foster Care: Health Concerns of Children in Foster Care  Foster Care: Foster Parents  Foster Care: The Caseworker  Foster Care: Biological Parents and Reunification  Foster Care: Additional Resources 

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