There are just over 1,000 children and adolescents in foster care in Monroe County on any given day. This population is known to have high rates of chronic medical illness, developmental delays and emotional and behavioral health problems. The high mobility of the population in and out of foster care and among foster care placements, along with inadequate health insurance and complex consent and confidentiality issues, are barriers to appropriate health and developmental services.
Studies evaluating the quality of health care and health care coordination through the medical home, Foster Care Pediatrics are currently underway. With the support of a grant from the Halcyon Hill Foundation, the health team is evaluating the systematic impact of well-validated developmental screening instruments on the identification and management of developmental delays in infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children in foster care.
Upcoming research projects include the mental health screening for identifying emotional and behavioral issues in the foster care adolescent and older child population and assessing quality of life of adolescents in short-term versus long-term foster care and with different permanency goals. The results of these studies will be used to develop a foster care toolkit in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics and to inform the practice of pediatricians across the country.
Press Release: Chronic Conditions More Likely in Young Children in Foster Care