Fostering Health Program Resources for Professionals

How we can help primary care providers

Every step of the way, the Fostering Health Program is designed to support the efforts of primary care providers in their care of foster children. Our goal is to ensure care coordination between health and child welfare sectors as well as within the healthcare system, and arm PCPs with the information and resources needed to optimize health outcomes for children in foster care.

The Fostering Health Program supports primary care providers by doing a great deal of legwork and information-gathering that community providers may not have the time or resources to manage.

From the initial evaluation, we provide a suggested care plan including referrals for any necessary services or specialists. The “medical passport,” a concise summary of the child’s history and needs, establishes the full-scope starting point to initiate treatment in the most effective way. Gathering all relevant medical records and background also reduces the need for unnecessary or repetitive tests or treatments.

Referring a child to the Fostering Health Program

Many of our referrals come from the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs). We also welcome referrals from primary care providers. To make a referral, call 267-426-0982.

Assessment criteria for children who are referred to the FHP include:

  • Unknown prior healthcare provider
  • Children who show previous fragmented care, such as mostly ED visits or more than 2 different PCPs in the past year
  • No prior care for more than 6 months in a child younger than 1
  • No prior care in the past year in a child older than 1 year old
  • Immunizations at more than 2 sites in one year or no record of immunizations in the registry

If you have concerns about any child and want to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect, call your local Department of Human Services:

  • PA: 1-800-932-0313
  • NJ: 1-877-652-2873
  • DE: 1-800-292-9582

For general inquiries about the program or to reach members of the team, you can call the Fostering Health Program at 267-426-5005.

Additional resources

The following resources can support primary care physicians and other professionals caring for foster children:

  • CHOP Pathway for Medical Evaluation of Child Entering Foster Care: CHOP’s clinical pathway for the medical evaluation of a child entering foster care starts with the initial visit with the end goal of establishing ongoing care with a medical home. The pathway includes details about trauma-informed care, immunizations, recommended labs and screening tools, and a variety of related resources for providers and families.
  • Healthy Foster Care America (HFCA): HFCA is an initiative of the AAP and its partners to improve the health and well-being outcomes of children and teens in foster care. This site links to a broad array of resources for practitioners, including an overview of health issues related to foster care, tips for creating a foster care friendly practice, clinical forms, insurance information and advocacy opportunities.
  • Fostering Health: Healthcare for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care: Developed by the AAP Task Force on Foster Care, this manual details standards of healthcare for children and adolescents in foster care. It includes specific chapters for primary care, mental health, and child abuse professionals.
  • Healthcare Issues for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care and Kinship Care: This AAP policy statement outlines healthcare needs of children in foster care, barriers to adequate care, and approaches to healthcare delivery. Trauma-informed care and care coordination are discussed. Recommendations for foster children’s healthcare are made on individual, pediatric practice, and system levels.
  • Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Healthcare: Foster Care and Health in the U.S.: This journal issue provides comprehensive reviews the healthcare status of children in foster care, trauma-informed care, aging out of foster care, and national policies related to foster care.
  • SAMHSA National Center for Trauma Informed Care: This program provides technical assistance and training on trauma-informed care to service providers, as well as trauma-related resources such as helplines and a behavioral health treatment locator.
  • Center on Developing Child at Harvard University: This Harvard portal features scientific research and public policy related to early childhood adversity. It includes brief overviews of concepts such as “toxic stress” from early childhood versus healthier “positive stress” responses; early intervention strategies to help mitigate the effects of toxic stress; and guidance on early intervention efforts.
  • Child Trauma Academy: This nonprofit organization offers online courses on scientifically-informed methods for working with at-risk children, as well as a library of articles related to child trauma.
  • Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope with Trauma: This is a guide for pediatricians to identify traumatized children in foster and adoptive families and to support their families by sharing knowledge about the manifestations of trauma and offering coping strategies. The site includes helpful handouts that may be printed out for families.
  • CHOP's PolicyLab: Find CHOP-guided research and policy recommendations on many different children’s health issues, including foster children. 


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