Stable relationships and home environments are crucial for healthy child and youth development. In the United States, over a third of foster children and youth experience more than two placements each year, meaning their living arrangements change at least three times a year.2 In North Carolina, 45% of foster children and youth experience more than two placements each year.3
Providing consistency during turbulence is one of the most difficult duties of foster parents. They often enter relationships recognizing the child in their care may only remain with them for a limited time. As soon as a placement begins, foster parents must act quickly to understand each child’s physical, emotional, and social needs. They determine how best to coordinate care—both the nurturing they provide and outside services each child requires.
Recognizing the challenges such transitions can present, UnitedHealthcare collaborates with child welfare agencies and community organizations that provide caregiver training, support, and education.
“Kinship families deserve to be supported in their child welfare journey, just as foster parents are,” said Gaile Osborne, executive director, Foster Family Alliance. “Collaboration with UnitedHealthcare has allowed our organization to increase capacity across the state to help kinship families navigate physical and mental health services.”