Aside from the foster parents and kin caregivers, child welfare professionals may be closer than anyone else to a child or teen in foster care. This includes pediatricians, other physicians in medical specialties, child advocates (court appointed to represent the best interest of the child), psychologists, and therapists. Sometimes, child welfare professionals are constant in a child's life even when there are changes in foster parents or other primary caregivers.
Children and teens in foster care often come from families in which the parents cannot provide adequate care and safety. Children may enter foster care due to a variety of reasons, some of which may include abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and the loss of a parent due to death or incarceration. A child's removal from his home in which those conditions existed may suddenly become the responsibility of a total stranger or a relative who must assume a new and different role in relation to the child. A child's separation from what is familiar to her is traumatic even though the separation was in her best interest, and the most appropriate plan to assure safety and well-being.
To access resources like important checklists, forms, and handouts to help child welfare professionals support foster parents and others in assuring that children receive high quality and comprehensive health care, visit the Resource Library and search by the audience "Child Welfare Professionals".