The majority of children entering foster care have experienced prolonged and repeated abuse and neglect. Consequently, many have serious developmental, physical, and emotional problems and require numerous services to ameliorate their problems. Research indicates that the current foster care system does not adequately meet the needs of this population. Due to the number of risk factors experienced by children in foster care, foster children are a complex population facing multiple challenges. Despite their high level of need for services and supports, a significant percentage of children in foster care currently do not receive the services they need to improve their well-being.
• 34% received no immunizations
• 32% continued to have at least one unmet health need after placement
• 12% were receiving no routine health care
• Less than 10% had received special education services, though research indicates that more than 50% of children in foster care have developmental delays
• Almost one-third of children in foster homes are living well below the poverty threshold.