Credit hours:

Course Summary

Children and youth in foster care are at a higher risk for medical and mental health problems than those not in care. This is often a direct result of their childhood trauma, making it extremely important that they receive high-quality, coordinated health care. In addition, health care is often court-ordered and may have been an unpleasant experience where youth felt they had little control, creating unique challenges for them when transitioning out of care and beginning to manage their own health care. Foster parents can help with the difficult transition to adulthood by ensuring youth in your care are prepared to manage their health care prior to living independently.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Unique health needs of foster youth

  • How to empower foster youth in a health care setting

  • Elements of Health Care Transition Planning

  • About health insurance for foster youth until 26

Step 1

Review “Health Care Issues for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care and Kinship Care” to gain insight into the unique challenges faced by youth who have experienced the child welfare system.

Step 2

Read about Brian’s health care experience as a foster youth through multiple transitions, a lack of information regarding his family of origin's medical history, and how his transition to adulthood was affected by not being taught valuable skills to manage his own health.

Step 3

Learn how toEmpower Foster Youth as Patients at different ages or developmental levels by reviewing this FosterClub resource developed for youth who have experienced or are currently experiencing foster care.

Step 4

Many foster youth are adverse to visiting a health care provider for a variety of reasons. You may be able to help by discussing some basic rights they have as health care consumers. The following handout Foster Youth Patient Bill of Rights was developed by FosterClub to inform young people of some trauma-informed rights that may help them ease into getting the medical attention they need and deserve.

Step 5

Creating a transition timeline with youth in your care can be extremely beneficial to their long-term health outcomes. A young person aging out of foster care without proper health care coverage is at risk of suffering untreated health issues which could be detrimental to their independence and well-being. Review the following handout, "Foster Care Youth Transition Planning Timeline", created by FosterClub to guide foster youth and their supportive adults towards a transition plan that can help ensure a young person is prepared to successfully manage their health care needs prior to leaving foster care.

Step 6

Discover how aging out of foster care without health care affected Dashun's journey to independence through this heart-wrenching story about a serious medical condition that could have taken his life.

Step 7

Learn how foster youth qualify for health care until age 26 by reviewing the following handout, "Health Care Coverage for Former Foster Youth", developed by FosterClub.

Step 8

Visit Health Care FFY, a collaborative project by FosterClub, First Focus, and the Juvenile Law Center for more information and to learn ways you and your youth can advocate for their rights.

Step 9

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

How can you help support a smooth transition for young people in your home who are ready to begin taking over the management of their own health care? 

Step 10

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate! 

Subscribe now!

Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

Subscribe Now

Log in to your account

Already subscribed? Log in to your FosterClub account now to take a course!

Log in

Course Discussion

schenck2605's picture

schenck2605 said:

This gave me alot of information alot we have incorperated in our care already but very good information.
ChristinaReid's picture

ChristinaReid said:

This was a very insightful training especially information regarding free health care until the age of 26. This is extremely important for youth to know and a great benefit to have access to.
mcmerolla's picture

mcmerolla said:

appreciated the helpful first-person accounts of the struggles some foster kids have as they transition out of care. The bill of rights and other helpful checklists were also helpful. this is one of those topics that we can take for granted at times but is so essential to help equip kids with in order to help them as they grown up
merollba's picture

merollba said:

thought the information was helpful in understanding the importance of proactive planning and communication around healthcare coverage for kids aging out of foster care. Health insurance is something we can often take for granted so the tips and checklists were good ideas to help foster parents be proactive in addressing this issue before a medical issue or emergency happens.
tiamnichols's picture

tiamnichols said:

Making sure all of the documents are in a organizer folder for them that they have access to. Help the youth make appointments and encourage them to take charge of their own information!
mtrickel's picture

mtrickel said:

You can make sure all their information is in one, organized location, and let them know what their rights are when it comes to their health. You can help support them asking questions, making their own appointments, transitioning to adult doctors, and calling in their own prescriptions.
jamesbing23's picture

jamesbing23 said:

by paying more attention and focusing on the childs needs I can better protect and help them grow.
Micaht333's picture

Micaht333 said:

I would definitely keep a binder of all of their information to include medical records, doctor's names/numbers, insurance cards, etc. I would teach them how to make appointments, fill prescriptions and research the best doctor's for them.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I think it's important to see that they have access to their medical information and know how to use it and any insinuate.
Dittyz's picture

Dittyz said:

I can show support by listening to what the needs are. and then helping with whatever that child needs.