Mental and behavioral health is the largest unmet health need for children and teens in foster care. Mental and behavioral health requires the presence of at least 1 nurturing, responsive caregiver who is stable in the child’s or teen’s life over time. Children and teens thrive when their families have routines, structure, and reasonable expectations; and parents display warmth and nurturance. Foster care should provide a stable, nurturing foster or kinship home and all the services appropriate to the needs of children and teens.  Foster care should partner with birth parents and older children and teens in foster care to identify family strengths that can become the foundation of healing for the entire family.

There are a number of topics that relate to the mental and behavioral health of children and teens in foster care.

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American Academy of Pediatrics