A Medical Home for Children in the Foster Care System in St. Louis City and St. Louis County
The Fostering Healthy Children program takes a multidisciplinary approach to medical care for children entering foster care. Our team of SLUCare Physician Group experts is committed to ensuring our young patients have access to the continuous medical care and services they need, regardless of the family circumstances in which they live.
Children placed in the foster care system are among the most vulnerable members of our society. These children generally come from families with the fewest psychosocial and financial resources, and experience higher rates of serious emotional and behavioral problems, chronic physical disabilities, developmental delays and poor school performance.
Access to Continuous Care
As pediatric health care specialists, we agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that all children should have access to “continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally sensitive primary care.” Because children in foster care move an average of five times, they often lack this continuity of care.
Our goal is to improve the health and well-being outcomes of these children. Our program can assist with providing initial exams for all children entering foster care to ensure that immediate medical needs are met. A comprehensive physical exam, required within 30 days of entry into care, is mandated by Children’s Division to be performed in the Fostering Healthy Children clinic. The resulting medical assessments create health plans for our patients, including recommendations for ongoing care, and ensure each child has a comprehensive health record that can follow the child even if his or her placement changes.
Services We Provide
Our team of health care specialists has many years of experience in pediatrics and foster care, along with treating cases of child abuse, neglect, and trauma. Our services include:
- Entry-to-care health exam
- Comprehensive health assessment
- Standardized developmental screening
- In-clinic mental health assessment
- Counseling recommendations, referral and treatment
- Education and anticipatory guidance to staff of child protection agencies and community partners, as well as families, regarding normal child development and issues specific to children in foster care
- Subspecialty referrals
- Ongoing primary care through out placement, extending into reunification
We currently serve children in the foster care system in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. For more information on this program or to make a referral, call 314-678-5475.