Credit hours:
3.00

Course Summary

Youth in foster care are at a higher risk for medical and mental health problems, often as 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. You as a foster parent can help with the difficult transition to adulthood by ensuring youth in your care are prepared to manage their health care prior to independence!

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Unique health needs of foster youth

  • How to empower foster youth as patients

  • 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 experience as a foster youth with his health care 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 to “Empower Foster Youth as Patients” at different ages or developmental levels by reviewing FosterClub’s 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 a young person’s aversion to health care providers and facilities 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 healthcare 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 Healthcareffy.org, 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? 

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Course Discussion

BigDaddyDan's picture

BigDaddyDan said:

Have the teen participate in medical decisions and make sure that they have copies of their medical records.
williamcooney7897@gmail.com's picture

williamcooney78... said:

I attend support group sessions to give me more insite on different changes.
williamcooney7897@gmail.com's picture

williamcooney78... said:

i seek support from DHS on insurance and other helps for the child
williamcooney7897@gmail.com's picture

williamcooney78... said:

i always stay up to date on medical and foster care issues.
williamcooney7897@gmail.com's picture

williamcooney78... said:

Before the first visit to the doctor explain to the child what to expect and explain why they are going to the doctor.
mnelson72209@sbcglobal.net's picture

mnelson72209@sb... said:

I will get with other foster parents with updates on insurance.
mnelson72209@sbcglobal.net's picture

mnelson72209@sb... said:

I will have them fill out the paper work before we go to the doctor.
mnelson72209@sbcglobal.net's picture

mnelson72209@sb... said:

I will have the youth give me the feed back about what they know about the insurance.
mnelson72209@sbcglobal.net's picture

mnelson72209@sb... said:

I have been informed on the topics.
mnelson72209@sbcglobal.net's picture

mnelson72209@sb... said:

I as a foster parent has learned and is going to pass on to the youth.