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Child Welfare. 2004 Jul-Aug;83(4):367-80.

Comparing the health status of low-income children in and out of foster care.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, USA.


Children in foster care face poverty, family dysfunction, neglect, and abuse, with high rates of chronic health, emotional, and developmental problems. This study compared the overall health status of a group of children entering foster care with a group of Medicaid-eligible children living with their parents, matched for age and gender. It identified significantly more health and developmental problems in children in foster care than in the comparison group. Possible contributors to the higher percentage of problems among foster care children may be that the foster children have more problems related to the underlying risk factors resulting in placement, or that the foster care physicians conducted a more comprehensive assessment or had lower clinical thresholds. Further research is necessary to identify and treat the problems of this high-risk group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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