This study investigated the impact of being in family foster care on selected health determinants and participation in Child Health Services (CHS).
Two groups of 100 children, born between 1992 and 2008, were studied using data from Swedish Child Health Services for the preschool period up to the age of six. The first group had been in family foster care, and the controls, matched for age, sex and geographic location, had not. Descriptive statistics were used to describe differences in health determinants and participation in Child Health Services between the two groups.
The foster care group had higher health risks, with lower rates of breastfeeding and higher levels of parental smoking. They were less likely to have received immunisations and attended key nurse or physician visits and speech and vision screening. Missing data for the phenylketonuria test were more common in children in family foster care.
Children in family foster care were exposed to more health risks than the control children and had lower participation in the universal child health programme during the preschool period. These results call for secure access to high-quality preventive health care for this particularly vulnerable group of children.
2015. Vol. 104, no 5, 508-513 p.