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Pediatr Nurs. 1999 Jan-Feb;25(1):57-9.

Promoting family-centered care with foster families.

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College of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Researcher, University of Kentucky Children's Hospital, Lexington, USA.


There has been a tremendous increase in the need for foster families since the 1980s largely because of the effects of drug abuse on the child and the biological family. As many as 500,000 children are currently living with foster families. Many children living with foster families were exposed to drugs before birth. Even those not exposed before birth demonstrate the effects of having lived with drug-abusing family members. Family life for these children is very often chaotic and unpredictable. There are increased health care needs for foster children due to drug-exposure and neglect. Yet, research suggests that the health care needs of foster children are often neglected. Foster families report that their concerns and needs are, frequently, neither recognized nor addressed by health professionals. Pediatric nurses can improve health care by increasing their awareness of the special needs of foster families and foster children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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