This study examined foster care alumni experiences with health care services as they aged out of the foster care system. Findings provide specific examples of challenges and supports related to accessibility, awareness, and utilization of health care resources during the transition to adulthood. Hearing from the stakeholders themselves provides supportive adults and professionals engaged in child welfare and healthcare settings important insight as to how to build systems and community supports to improve the healthy development and outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.
Megan Hayes Piel, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University. Her research focuses on the physical and mental health of youth in and aging out of foster care. Dr. Piel’s experience in social work settings includes providing interventions and program supervision for youth and emerging adults in behavioral health and foster care group homes, and schools. The scope of her work is inherently interdisciplinary as it focuses on interventions with foster youth and alumni involved in multiple service systems.