Steps to Overcome Barriers
It is important that foster parents, social workers, physicians, biological parents, Guardian Ad Litem, CASA advocates, judges and teachers understand the importance of their roles in relation to each other to attend to the complex health care needs of children in foster care. Steps must be taken to raise awareness of the complex health care needs of children in foster care and the roles and responsibilities of all the members of the foster care team be clarified. Once these goals have been accomplished, it is the belief of the Caring Communities project that collaborative and respectful partnerships amongst all of the members of the foster care team is possible. Educational materials are being developed to further that effort and proven strategies from other communities are being shared.
All of PEATC's Foster Care materials are for sale; go to the Foster Care order form.
- "Who Cares?"
- "Mental Health and Hope"
- "A System of Caregivers -- Caring for Children's Health"
- "The Role of Foster Parents"
Tools for Gathering and Maintaining Medical Information
- "Don't Leave Home Without It" -- Developed by the Los Angeles Foster Care Public Health Nurse Unit in 1993 this simple tool reminds foster care workers to gather important baseline information about the child’s health status upon entering the system.
- "Health Profile" -- or Health Passport is a record keeping document that records important medical information while a child is in foster care. This document is significant as it can serve as a tool to prevent unnecessary and duplicative medical treatments, and/or avoid the over prescribing of medications. It can also track the general physical health, the immunization history and will accompany the child until the child transitions out of care as a young adult or back to his biological family.
Methods to Raise Awareness and Create Collaborative Relationships
- "The Design Team" -- This community-based interagency advisory committee advises the project. It identifies gaps in the delivery system of health care services for children in foster care within Fairfax County, VA. Representatives from the following agencies serve on this team:
- Mental Health
- Early Intervention
- Foster Care, Prevention and Placement
- Child Protective Services
- Public Health
- Virginia Department of Social Services – Foster Care
- Foster and Adoptive Parents
- Court Appointed Special Advocates
- Private Foster Care Agencies
- Private Physicians
- "Foster Parent Mentors" -- "Empowering has recently become a guiding concept for planning and providing services for young children with special needs and their families. Families must be able to meet their own needs, maintain a sense of control in their interactions with service programs, and apply their abilities to the care of their children while learning new competencies." (1990 South Shore Mental Health Center, Inc., Woodruff, Hanson, McGonigel, Sterzin) In interviewing foster parents both individually and in focus groups, the Caring Communities project discovered that veteran foster parents are an untapped resource of knowledge in a number of areas. In addition to knowing where and how to access services they are skilled in problem solving, advocacy, communication, child development and they take their jobs as parents to someone else’s children, very seriously. Through the evolution of the project, the Foster Parent Mentor Program was developed. Four veteran foster parents were recruited to act as peer mentors to other foster parents or parents who were considering becoming foster parents. With on-going training and support the foster parent mentors field questions from across Virginia such as how to find a doctor, how can I best be my foster child’s advocate and how can I access services for my kincare foster child? The foster parent mentors provide invaluable insights into the development and direction of the project.
- Video and Self-study Guides
- "Fostering Health in the Foster Care Maze" video depicts the foster care system as a coalition of team members, their roles and responsibilities, the challenges and barriers each faces and offers strategies to overcome some of the obstacles all of the members must deal with.
- "Fostering Health in the Foster Care Maze"
Each self-study guide is a reader friendly guide to creating a Caring Community within the foster care system. It has useful tips on how to develop collaborative relationships with other members of the team and the important function each member of the foster care system serves. It identifies the complex health care needs of children in foster care today and gives unique perspectives on generating opportunities for creating positive outcomes for children in foster care.
- "Guide for Foster Parents"
- "Guide for Social Service Professionals"
- "Guide for Health Care Professionals"
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Falls Church, VA 22046
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Copyright © 2013 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.
Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.
PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
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