ABSTRACT: Children living in foster care are a unique population with specialized healthcare needs. This article will assist forensic nurses and advanced practice forensic nurses, particularly those working in pediatrics, in understanding the needs of children in foster care and implementing a practice plan to better meet their healthcare needs. To that end, a basic understanding of the foster care system is crucial and involves an appreciation of the interface between the legal system and the child welfare system. Most important to providing care to children in foster care is a true understanding of trauma exposure and its potential effects on the lives of children: physically, developmentally, emotionally, and psychologically. This article will assist forensic nurses working with pediatric populations to more fully understand the needs of children in foster care and to develop innovative interventions to appropriately meet their unique needs.
Author Affiliation: Center for Family Safety and Healing, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The author and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
Correspondence: Gail Hornor, DNP, CPNP, AFN, SANE-P, Center for Family Safety and Healing, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 655 East Livingston Ave., Cols, OH 43205. E-mail: Gail.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received February 14, 2014; accepted for publication July 6, 2014.