The AAP provides relevant and up to date health care resources for pediatricians, parents, child welfare agencies and others who care for children and adolescents who are involved in the child welfare system.


According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, foster care is a temporary service provided by states for children who cannot live with their families. Children in foster care may live with relatives (kinship care) or with unrelated foster parents. It also refers to placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living. On June 23, 2020, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System reported that  672,594 children were served by the foster care system. That same year, 423,997 children were in foster care in the United States. Of those 423,997 children, 32% were most recently placed with a family member or relative.

As the leading pediatric health organization in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics is uniquely positioned to provide support and evidence-based guidelines to pediatricians caring for children and youth in foster and kinship care. The Academy's Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care serves as the main point of contact for the Academy on issues related to care of children and families in foster and kinship care. The COFCAKC provides evidence-based guidance specific to caring for children and youth in foster and kinship care and facilitates the translation of evidence-based guidance into education, practice, policy and advocacy for pediatricians, caregivers, and the public. 

Here you will find information about foster care tools and resources for pediatricians, and foster care resources for parents, families, and caregivers are available on the AAP parenting website,

Models of Care

Find information on the various models, programs, and projects that members of the Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care offer to children in the US foster care system.

AAP Recommendations

The Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care authors policy statements relevant to the to the care of children and teens in foster care, adoption and kinship care. 

Resources for Pediatricians

Health Issues and Needs of Children in Foster Care

Trauma Guide

This 6-part series was designed with the primary care practice in mind – those who may or may not be familiar with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the process of asking families about exposure to ACEs or other traumatic events.

Education & Professional Development

Explore education materials related to foster care and kinship care including course offerings and presentations from the AAP’s National Conference and Exhibition. 

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Foster Care - Episode 9

In this episode hosts David Hill, MD FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, look at the child welfare system during the pandemic. In the main interview segment, Heather Forkey MD, FAAP, talks about the role pediatricians can play in taking care of this extremely vulnerable population.

Pediatrics on Call


August 25, 2020

Helping Foster Parents be a Healing Force in Young Lives

Advocating for support of foster parents helps them build a positive home environment in which children exposed to chronic stress and maltreatment can heal and change their lives for the better.

Voices Blog


May 29, 2018

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics