Recent studies show that foster children face a higher risk of developing mental and physical health conditions such as depression, ADHD, and asthma. Scientists have not been surprised by these results, considering how hard is the life of these kids.
Also, this survey is the first attempt to monitor the risks of health issues occurring in United States children, including those from single-parent and low-income families.
According to Kristin Turney, California University lead researcher, foster children are most vulnerable to the development of these health issues. More precisely, the study revealed that kids in foster care are between two and three times more likely to develop physical health conditions such as vision and hearing problems as well as obesity and asthma.
Worse, these children had between five and seven times higher risks of developing behavioral symptoms or issues related to anxiety and depression. Turney underlines that their research doesn’t aim to blame foster care for these problems, but just to point out the current situation of foster care children across the United States.
The foster care system ensures temporary care for children whose birth parents are unable to properly take care of them. According to Julie Steel, a nursing assistant professor from the University of Utah, although these facts are no surprise, they represent a solid proof of the risks foster care children face every day.
She stresses that these kids do not receive the attention they need and deserve as every child should benefit from mental and physical health evaluation during the time they spend in the foster care system, especially when they enter it.
This way, doctors will find out whether these children need specialized therapy in order to reduce the risks and prevent the development of physical and mental health conditions.
Unfortunately, the laws regarding the foster system vary in every state, and that is why Steele stresses that more resources and funding will provide better results. She stated that ‘As a society, we need to support these vulnerable children.’
Steele also underlines that foster parents should do their best to find support for their children. These kids deserve a normal life, and they could have it if they were adopted by a loving family. Also, foster children should be cherished as they are part of the next generation.