Engaging Foster Youth and Foster Parents in Electronic Records Initiatives: Lessons Learned
More than 400,000 children and youth are in foster care in the United States. Most have experienced trauma that will have a lifelong impact on their physical and mental health, educational attainment, and prospects for self-sufficiency and success. Once in foster care, this population of vulnerable minors is likely to experience frequent changes in homes and, as a result, disruptions in health care and gaps in personal records, such as medical records, birth certificates, and school transcripts. Such disruptions contribute to poor health and education outcomes. Electronic record systems have the potential to address the problem of fragmented health care and incomplete health records. This brief catalogs, to our knowledge, all consumer-facing foster care electronic records initiatives, describes lessons learned, and highlights promising strategies and practices to help guide future efforts to promote the direct connection of foster youth and foster parents to critical health and other care-related information.