Foster Care

Improving healthcare access and coordination for Children and Youth in Foster Care.

Over 30,000 children currently reside in foster care placement in the 48 counties of the AAP California Chapter 1 region. Advocating for the health needs of children and teens in foster care is something everyone can do; from mentoring a teen to working with state or federal officials to make changes in policy, there are a number of things you can do to advocate on behalf of children and teens in care. Here is why to do it:

  • More than 80% of children and youth in foster care have behavioral, emotional or mental health diagnoses.
  • Foster children occupy more than 40% of the child mental health inpatient beds on any given day.
  • Those leaving foster care are at particularly high risk for having significant chronic medical and or mental health disorders including asthma, obesity, depression, anxiety disorders.
  • Many have experienced multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • AAP designates foster children as meeting criteria of Children with Special Health Care Needs which warrants a medical home care coordination model of services.
  • Recent and current federal and state legislation is freeing up new funding streams to pay for providers to render these services for this population to even help prevent placement in foster care in the first place.
  • We want all pediatricians to be comfortable and competent caring for children and youth in foster care.

Committees

Foster Care

Chair(s):
Katy Carlsen, MD, FAAP and Rachel Weinreb, MD, FAAP

Contact:
info@aapca1.org

The California Chapter 1 Foster Care committee is composed of pediatricians as well as experts in mental health and child welfare who are passionate about improving care and outcomes for children and youth in foster care. We have recently embarked on a project to better inform pediatricians and provide them with key skills and available resources. The mission of this committee is to educate our AAP membership on the challenges and tools available in caring for children and youth in foster care and advocating for improved and sustainable funding mechanisms for the pediatric provider to do this rewarding work. Our goal is to promote collaboration among pediatricians and communities to build connections and resources to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care. We believe that advocacy is a critical component of care for this population.

Committee on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Chair(s):
Renee Wachtel, MD, FAAP

Contact:
info@aapca1.org

The Committee on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics is composed of AAP Fellows who are subspecialists with expertise in developmental and behavioral pediatrics or neurodevelopmental disabilities and primary care pediatricians. The Committee is dedicated to the optimal care and development of children with disabilities and special health care needs and to the support of their families. Children with special health care needs are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition and require health and related services beyond those required by children generally. Committee issues include early intervention, developmental screening, access to developmental and behavioral services, childhood behavior problems, physician education regarding developmental and behavioral screening and referral to resources, medication management of developmental and behaviorally related disorders, biopsychosocial issues, genetic disorders related to impairments in sensory function, development and behavior, and advocacy issues.

Advocacy

Healthy Foster Care America

Healthy Foster Care America (HFCA) is an initiative of the National AAP and its partners to improve the health and well-being outcomes of children and teens in foster care.

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Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteers

CASA volunteers are appointed by the Judge and act as the “eyes and ears of the court and the voice of the child.” Volunteers advocate by facilitating, investigating, and monitoring areas of need in the life of their assigned child.

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Trauma Toolbox

A 6-part series designed with the primary care practice in mind on the process of asking families about exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) or other traumatic events.

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Resources

Trauma Guide for Pediatricians

Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope with Trauma.

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Foster Care Resource Library

Healthy Foster Care America - resource section

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Technical Report and Policy Statements

Healthcare Issues for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care and Kinship Care

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