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Health and Developmental Assessments for Children in Foster Care

Each year, around thousands of children join the foster care system in the United States. In Philadelphia, more than 6,000 children are in foster, kinship or residential care.

Foster youth frequently do not have regular healthcare and do not get their regular immunizations since they frequently change placement and medical suppliers. Between 30-80 percent of foster youth have long-standing health conditions, and most have outstanding behavioral and emotional issues.

In order to handle the healthcare needs of these children, the Fostering Health Program (FHP) was created. “FHP is an outpatient assessment program led by a multidisciplinary team of specialists at CHOP who work together to assess and provide guidance for the healthcare needs of children in foster care,” The Children of Philadelphia Hospital notes.

What They Do

As they work closely with Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and its Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs), their goal is to ensuring that every foster youth has access to constant, coordinated and excellent care during their childhood.

By intervening early and helping to coordinate care at the time of entry into the foster care system or a placement change, CHOP shares what the Fostering Health Program is aiming to do:

  • Increase appropriate use of primary care services
  • Reduce preventable hospitalizations and visits to the emergency department
  • Make earlier connections to the services that children can benefit from
  • Achieve more consistent health supervision
  • Aid in the child’s transition into a new living situation

“The primary purpose of the Fostering Health Program is to evaluate each child (birth through age 18) when they are placed into foster care. After a careful review of medical records and history and a thorough physical evaluation, our team of experienced providers creates a plan to help inform the child’s care moving forward,” CHOP shares.

For more information, visit CHOP. You can download their program brochure for a print-friendly handout now!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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