Health Care Issues for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care and Kinship Care

Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):e1142-66. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-2656.


Children and adolescents involved with child welfare, especially those who are removed from their family of origin and placed in out-of-home care, often present with complex and serious physical, mental health, developmental, and psychosocial problems rooted in childhood adversity and trauma. As such, they are designated as children with special health care needs. There are many barriers to providing high-quality comprehensive health care services to children and adolescents whose lives are characterized by transience and uncertainty. Pediatricians have a critical role in ensuring the well-being of children in out-of-home care through the provision of high-quality pediatric health services in the context of a medical home, and health care coordination and advocacy on their behalf. This technical report supports the policy statement of the same title.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Child
  • Child Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Foster Home Care*
  • Health Services
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic