Foster Children

In 2018 almost 700,000 children spent time in foster care in the United States.1 Children who are in foster care tend to have greater physical and behavioral health needs than other children. Due to the traumatic nature of the foster care placement itself and the higher rates of exposure to trauma than most youth, many of these children face unique behavioral health challenges. Given that most children in foster care are insured through Medicaid, programs that serve this population need to have systems and services in place that can both improve their overall health and well-being as well as increase the chances of stable placement in a loving and supportive family.

At UnitedHealthcare, we offer integrated care programs to better serve the unique needs of the foster care population. By partnering with child welfare systems, Medicaid agencies, caregivers, and community stakeholders, we build solutions designed to help children and youth in foster care improve their lives and chances for success.

UnitedHealthcare has a dedicated clinical model for children in foster care anchored in the principles of trauma-informed care and coordination:

  • Includes a dedicated care management team of clinical experts who specialize in outreach to foster care members and an integrated system of medical and behavioral health services designed to address the whole-person needs of these members
  • Implements telehealth services and pharmacy reviews to support the particular access and clinical needs of foster care youth and their families

Partnership with the National Foster Parent Association provides training about the foster care system and how to best assist foster parents.

In 2019, UnitedHealthcare Community & State served 55,000 foster children across 12 markets as a part of integrated plans.

Online continuing education (CEU’s) specific to children in foster care is available.

UnitedHealthcare offers unique products to serve children in foster care, including an app for transition- aged youth to plan for adulthood and store confidential documents they will need as adults to access services.


  1. Based on number of individuals served by the foster care system in FY 2018. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2019). The AFCARS report: Preliminary FY 2018 estimates as of August 22, 2019. afcarsreport26.pdf

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