Differences in morbidity among children in foster care and non-foster care children

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Osbeck, Andrew
Day, David

Foster care children are at risk for a number of health problems. A number of studies highlight the health disparities in this population. The purpose of this study is to determine if the morbidity rates of foster children are actually greater than non-foster care children. This study utilized a systematic review of the literature on foster care morbidity rates. The results of comparing the morbidity rates in these two populations indicates that foster children do have higher rates of problems in physical, mental, and developmental health. Foster children are up to 50% more likely to have chronic physical health conditions, almost 5 times more likely to have a primary psychiatric condition and almost 2.5 times more likely to have developmental delays or mental retardation than other children in similar socio-economic situations, who are not in foster care.

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A project presented to the Department of Physician Assistant of Wichita State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Physician Assistant.