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Max Veltman


Studies suggest a significantly higher use of psychotropic medications by children involved in foster care when compared to those children not in foster care. There are many unanswered questions about the mental health needs of the children in foster care, especially when looking at the much higher number of psychiatric diagnoses that this population has. In addition, there is a lack of consistent follow up mental health evaluations and consequently appropriate ongoing care. Financial factors in both biological and foster households often play a role in this. This may be due to the various professionals providing care for a child entering foster care, as well as a vague definition of which area of practice is responsible for ensuring follow up visits. This presentation will give a general overview of the collective mental health issues that plague children within the foster care system nationally while considering sociodemographic variables as well as placement histories. These findings will be compared to issues affecting the Treasure Valley foster care community. Finally, we will provide some insight as to what role nurses possess in encouraging ongoing evaluations and promoting overall wellness in foster care children.