Tips for Working with Children and Teens in Foster Care
Children and teens in foster care are likely to have common developmental and behavioral concerns, such as enuresis, encopresis, sleep problems, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to the severe nature of these developmental delays and mental health disorders, however, many youth will require special services. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that child welfare workers consider these concerns around the time of visitation and court dates, as these events frequently create significant stress, and additional support may be needed for the child and the foster or birth parents. The Academy also recommends that child welfare workers consider referrals to early child development interventions as well as to mental health professionals with expertise in childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, and separation issues. This bulletin outlines the Academy's recommendations and offers tips for follow-up.