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! 

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Course Discussion

labella19's picture

labella19 said:

BY getting them prepared for their young adult life.
deandranekas's picture

deandranekas said:

Make sure they have the correct information like medicals records and more.
ladynick77's picture

ladynick77 said:

Ensure that the have correct information and have access to Insurance and how it works.
charleml's picture

charleml said:

Very informative.
tbaxter's picture

tbaxter said:

Make sure they have all of the correct information. Let them know it is safe to be open and honest about their feelings and concerns. That you will help them in any way possible.
mattbaxter's picture

mattbaxter said:

Make sure they have all of the correct information. Let them know to be open and honest about their feelings and concerns. That you will help them in any way possible.
Shakarmia's picture

Shakarmia said:

Make sure they know and have access to the medical history, records, and insurance information. Also it good to talk to your child to make sure they understand how Health insurance works for their situation. Giving them all the available resources possible as well as caseworker info to insure they have access to the information they need is another way to help children transition into adulthood.
Beto14's picture

Beto14 said:

Make sure they have all of the correct information. let them know to be open and honest about their feelings and concerns. you will help them in any way possible.
Erniee23's picture

Erniee23 said:

Let the child/children in care be more involved when it comes to appointments allow them to ask questions if they have any concerns. Be supportive and show them you care they are never alone.
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

Having a 16 yo female in our care who also has a two year old child we feel it very important to get her in the healthcare loop so that in the next two years when she ages out she is more prepared and will not get overwhelmed by all the different issues that are going to be taking place at that time. the information in here is very useful and helpful.