The foster home care system is the most commonly used alternative for the care of dependent children in the United States. However, it often fails to achieve its objective of returning the child to his home or providing a permanent substitute family. Children entering foster care have frequently suffered social, emotional, and medical neglect, and physical abuse. They have a high rate of chronic medical problems, educational handicaps, and severe emotional impairment. In many cases the health care that foster children receive fails to recognize and/or adequately address their disabilities. In order for the pediatric practitioner to work successfully with a foster child, he must not only provide comprehensive health care, but also must be familiar with the social welfare system within which the child lives.
- Received May 1, 1981.
- Accepted July 14, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics