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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Relationship of home environment to health and developmental problems of children in foster care

Janet U. Schneiderman, PhD, RN1, Janet Arnold-Clark, MD2, Dawn D. McDaniel, BA3, and Bin Xie, PhD1. (1) School of Social Work, University of Southern California, 669 West 34th Street, SWC 226, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411, 213-821-1338, juschnei@usc.edu, (2) Community Assessment Treatment Center, 1739 Griffin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033, (3) Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 McClintock Avenure, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061

This study used a cross-sectional survey with retrospective medical record review to examine the relationship of the placement circumstance of children in foster care (ages birth to 5 years) to their health and developmental problems. Health problems were identified by medical diagnoses (including rule out diagnoses) and developmental problems were identified by the Denver II Developmental Screening. The setting for the study was a new foster care clinic (medical home), which has a direct partnership to the child welfare department in Los Angeles, California. 300 subjects' (52% female and 48% male) medical records were analyzed from their first visit to the clinic to examine relationships between quantity/type of health and developmental problems and placement (32% kinship vs. 68% unrelated), as well as analyze any interactions with demographic/social variables. The subjects were 63% Latino, 21% African American, 12% White, and 1 % Asian American. 24% of the subjects had no medical diagnoses, 36% had one, 21% had 2, and 18% had 3 or more. 32% of the subjects failed one or more parts of the Denver; of these 76% failed the language subsection. There is conflicting literature on the movement to kinship homes, e.g. although it is preferred for cultural/ethnic stability it also is associated with less than adequate care. The initial findings showed no relationship of kinship care vs unrelated foster care to numbers of health or developmental problems. But, the longer children remain in foster care, the more medical problems are identified.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of this session, the learner will be able to

    Keywords: Social Work, Child Health

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Not Answered

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