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

Valgreen's picture

Valgreen said:

The youth aging out of foster care must be able to transition into managing their healthcare needs. I would definitely encourage them to set appointments, make a list of questions to ask the medical provider. Also follow up on testing and reports. Also to keep a health journal with all important information.
Valgreen's picture

Valgreen said:

The youth aging out of foster care must be able to transition into managing their healthcare needs. I would definitely encourage them to set appointments, make a list of questions to ask the medical provider. Also follow up on testing and reports. Also to keep a health journal with all important information.
mrsafety's picture

mrsafety said:

We should keep good records for them, and when they are still young but ready, start talking to them as we go through every step of their medical care. That way, a few years later when they are ready to start taking control and making decisions, they will be very familiar and comfortable with all the processes.
chilly69's picture

chilly69 said:

as with most youth they tend to not look serious at health issues and sorta think its no big deal. I would encourage them to always let the parent know of any issues and feel free to do so. Inform them by experience but not scare them.
staceyme73@outlook.com's picture

staceyme73@outl... said:

very good information
leahn91's picture

leahn91 said:

By slowly giving the youth more and more control to make decisions regarding healthcare.
ericka reddbutler's picture

ericka reddbutler said:

foster care is a experience to make a difference and have a positive impact on a child's life
carlb's picture

carlb said:

I can help our foster youth by making them more responsible for making appointments and choosing services with guidance and open communication about medical needs.
tammyb's picture

tammyb said:

Its always good practice to teach your kids how to schedule appointments and keep a medical record for them of their history and insurance information.
Acetinto58@gmail.com's picture

Acetinto58@gmail.com said:

I can help support a smooth transition for young people in my home take over management of their own healthcare by helping them understand their choices and directions in which they can take. Also, it is important to help them keep their documents organized and help them maintain any records necessary for their appointments.