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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1989 Jun;10(3):121-8.

The foster care clinic: a community program to identify treatment needs of children in foster care.

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Waterbury Regional Department of Pediatrics, St. Mary's Hospital, Connecticut.


A community-based multiagency and multidisciplinary clinic was developed to perform comprehensive evaluations of preschool children in foster care. One hundred thirteen children, ages 1 month to 6 years old, were seen during the first 2 years. Forty-seven percent of the children were known to the social service agency from birth; however, the mean age at placement was 19 months. Fifty-seven percent of the children were in their first foster home at the time of their initial evaluation, but 17% has already been placed in three or more homes. Behavioral problems were found in 39% of the children, and chronic medical problems in 35%. Sixty-one percent of the children were delayed in one or more portions of the developmental assessment. Developmental delay was associated with older age. Sixty percent of the children with developmental delays were not involved in any community educational or therapeutic program, although they had been in foster care for a mean of 6 months. Because of the high mobility of this population, continuity of care by social workers, foster parents, and physicians is hard to achieve. The evaluation model developed by the clinic appears to facilitate the identification of children in need of additional services, enhances cooperation between various community agencies, and provides a constant site for monitoring the status and progress of children in foster care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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