The health needs of the child will depend upon the type of foster care being offered to him, as the needs for an emergency short-term placement of a healthy child are very different from those of a long-term placement of a handicapped child. When a tentative decision is reached that placement is necessary, arrangements should be made for a medical examination by a physician trained in the care of children. Psychological testing and psychiatric examination may occasionally be necessary to arrive at an understanding of the nature and severity of personality problems.
The adequate provision for safeguarding and promoting the health of children in routine foster care should include periodic health supervision examinations, appropriate medical care for the ill child or child with special health problems, and dental care. Foster families having access to adequate, continuing medical care for themselves and other siblings should incorporate their foster child into their family health care system. By aligning the health services needed by the foster child with the provider of health services utilized by the foster family, the child would not be singled out for differential treatment, hence becoming a more integral part of the family life. When this is not possible, basic medical services should be provided through the agency or other resources whose services are coordinated with a total plan for the child, thus providing for continuity of medical care.
Health services should include preplacement examinations and periodic medical examinations for appraisal of the child's physical growth, development, health status, and the effect of emotional and social factors upon the child's physical well being.
- Copyright © 1977 by the American Academy of Pediatrics