Healthy Foster Care America has set out to achieve the following 8 goals:
Develop a National Foster Care Alliance
Identify members and form a coalition of key national organizations and agencies to pursue common short- and long-term strategies to improve the health and well-being of children and teens in foster care.Research and Implement Best Practices to Care for the Health and Well-Being of Children and Teens in Foster Care
Research, identify, and implement best practices by examining programs and practices already in place, featuring current best practices on the HFCA Web site, and creating a think tank to set a national research agenda for foster care.Create a Political/Policy Agenda for Meeting the Health Needs of Children and Teens in Foster Care
Identify, create, and nurture potential champions at the state and national levels. Develop a public policy agenda aimed at improving the health and well-being of children and teens in foster care, and strategies for pursuing the agenda.Involve Health Professionals in Foster Care Efforts
Involve health professionals at the national, state, and local levels in advocating for and treating children and teens in foster care. For example:
Empower Children and Teens in Foster Care and their Families
- AAP chapters may identify health professionals who can serve on Child and Family Service Review teams that periodically evaluate the child welfare system in each state.
- AAP can educate health care providers on the health needs specific to children and teens in foster care, and can encourage appropriately trained health professionals to accept children in foster care as patients.
- AAP chapters may identify health professionals to work with states on developing health systems for children and teens in foster care.
Support and empower children, teens, and families in the foster care system by increasing:
Develop and Train a Workforce with Knowledge and Skills about the Health Needs of Children and Teens in Foster Care
- Involvement in all aspects of health care
- Foster parent retention through increased training and support
- Respite and therapeutic services for foster parents and kin
Develop curricula and implement educational initiatives for case workers, judges, attorneys, child advocates, and parents (foster and birth) and kin, which are based on best practice standards (eg, Fostering Health, CWLA Standards for Excellence).Share Information and Data Among Disciplines
Identify and create appropriate, comprehensive assessment tools, such as Web-based health passports, and promote legislation that allows sharing of pertinent health information among all stakeholders (eg, parents, family physicians, judges, case workers) while protecting patient confidentiality.Design a Healthy Foster Care America Media Campaign
Design and launch a media campaign to build the public will to improve foster care, to decrease negative stigma associated with foster care, and to recruit new families for children and teens in care.