November 23, 2021

Foster youth program to help connect with health care

It can be difficult for former foster youth to access health care because of issues like insurance, lack of documentation and trauma. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

It can be difficult for former foster youth to access health care because of issues like insurance, lack of documentation and trauma.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

An Indiana nonprofit that works with youth aging out of the foster care system will establish a new health focus.

Foster Success recently announced its new Health and Well-Being program to help teens and young adults transition from pediatric to adult health care. It can often be difficult for former foster youth to access health care because of issues like insurance, lack of documentation and trauma.

Foster Success CEO and President Maggie Stevens said many may avoid going to the doctor.

“Because they don’t want to explain why they don’t know their families health history or why they don’t have pediatric health records or shot records,” Stevens said.

The program will work toward better communication with providers, access to vital documents and peer support. Foster Success has hired a new director to oversee the initiative.

Stevens said finding the right doctor for youth is important.

“Helping connect them to physicians who are trauma informed and are aware and sensitive to the unique needs of individuals aging out of foster care,” Stevens said.

The expansion is funded by a $350,000 Title V grant from the Indiana Department of Health.

A law established in 2017 requires Indiana agencies to help youth enroll in Medicaid until 26.

Foster Success helps young adults transitioning out of foster care to connect with jobs, housing and other services by age 26.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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