Understanding Health Need and Services Received by Youth in Foster Care in Community Safety-Net Health Centers in Oregon

Frances L. Lynch, Megan J. Hoopes, Brigit A. Hatch, Maryjane Dunne, Annie E. Larson, Allison O'Neill, Katherine C. Pears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Youth in foster care have significant unmet health needs. We assessed health needs and health service use among youth in foster care in Oregon using electronic health record data from 258 community health centers and Medicaid enrollment data from 2014-2016. We identified 2,140 youth in foster care and a matched comparison group of 6,304 youth from the same clinics who were not in foster care, and compared the groups on demographic characteristics, health needs, and health service use. Youth in foster care were significantly more likely to have at least one chronic health condition, at least one mental health condition, and at least one mental health service compared with controls. Youth in foster care were significantly less likely to have a primary care visit. Despite significant mental health needs among youth in foster care, few received mental health care; this lack was greater among African American and Hispanic youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-798
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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