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Pediatr Nurs. 2007 Jul-Aug;33(4):345-55.

Addressing the health needs of adolescents transitioning out of foster care.

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  • 1Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, CT, USA.


Adolescents in foster care experience complex health care needs and face multiple barriers in receiving the necessary and appropriate health care services. When the adolescent ages-out of foster care at 18 or 21 years-old they are expected to make a transition to independence with no financial resources, poor access to health care, few personal and family connections and little if any support from the foster care system. This places them at risk for poor physical and mental health status, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. No formalized system of transition planning has yet been established to meet the needs of adolescents before discharge from the foster care system.

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