Advocating for the health needs of children and teens in foster care is something everyone can do. From mentoring a teen to working with state or federal officials to make changes, there are a number of things that you can do to advocate on behalf of children and teens in care. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates that all children, including children in foster care, should have a medical home that is accessible, and provides health care that is continuous over time, comprehensive, child-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. For children in foster care, a medical home provider should understand the impact of childhood trauma on health and development and be an advocate for permanency and stability.
Everyone can do something to make a difference for a child or teen in foster care, including:
- Volunteering or working in agencies that serve children or teens in foster care
- Becoming a mentor to a child or teen in foster care
- Teaching independent living skills to children and teens in foster care
- Advocating for services and policies at the federal and state level that serve children and teens in foster care up to the age of 21
- Advocating for permanency (a permanent home) for teens and young adults leaving care
- Advocating for services for teens and young adults transitioning out of foster care
- Working closely with schools to ensure children in foster care receive all necessary evaluations and services
- Starting a “backpack” program so that children in foster care have items for school
- Donating to a fund that pays to enroll children in foster care in “extracurricular activities”
- Subscribe to the Healthy Foster Care America listserv, which will send the latest information related to health and foster care.
May is National Foster Care Month Flyer
Although this flyer was made specifically for National Foster Care Month (May), the tips can be used year-round.