Foster and Adoptive Parents

Raising a child can be challenging at times, however, caring for a child with special health care needs can be difficult and overwhelming. Children in foster care may have special health care needs that we don't always consider.  While they may have an intellectual or developmental disability such as autism or Down syndrome, or a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma, they are more likely to have other special health care needs such as behavioral or mental health concerns, developmental or medical issues from toxic stress, or they may have experienced trauma.

We hope this site will help foster and adoptive parents find information and resources to help navigate the service systems for children with special health care needs.

To search for agencies and providers, please go to our Resource Directory page.

Links we like: 

Adverse Childhood Experiences provides information and resources on ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) which can impact a child's development, health, behavior, and overall well being.

Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents. Discusses child sexual abuse, behaviors associated with prior sexual abuse, and how sexual abuse affects how children trust others. The fact sheet also discusses how families can establish guidelines so that children and youth feel safe. Resources for seeking help also are included.

Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Abuse or Neglect defines child abuse and neglect, explains the effects of maltreatment, offers tips for how parents can help their children build resiliency and heal, and points to resources for support.

Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma discusses the nature of trauma, especially abuse or neglect, the effects of trauma on children and youth, and ways to help a child who has experienced trauma.

Helping Your Foster Child Transition to Your Adopted Child summarizes how foster/adoptive parents can help their child make the emotional adjustment to being an adopted child.

Child Welfare Information Gate Support Services for Youth in Transition: Community Connections and Supportive Relationships. Provides resources for helping youth as they transition out of foster care.