Caregiver perceptions of the pediatric medical home model to address the health services needs of youth in foster care

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2023.106964



Children in foster care demonstrate higher rates of physical health difficulties and lower rates of engagement in preventative health services than the general population. This pattern places foster youth at heightened risk for long-term health complications in adolescence and adulthood. Interventions for children in foster care are needed to decrease barriers to health services, increase continuity of care, and ameliorate negative long-term outcomes. Pediatric Medical Home (PMH) models may be a viable solution, but little guidance exists on the adaptation of these models for vulnerable youth.


The current project utilized a qualitative approach to evaluate the perceived utility of PMHs as a health care delivery system for youth in foster care. Method: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 parents of children in foster care who had received PMH services within the past year.


Qualitative themes demonstrated overall positive perceptions of the PMH model, with numerous advantages related to foster-care specialization that sustained caregiver engagement. Participant themes aligned with several of the major characteristics of PMHs, most specifically with continuity of care, and highlighted additional needs specific to families with child welfare involvement.


Findings address the utility of medical homes for parents and youth with child welfare involvement and can inform future efforts on enhancing interprofessional health interventions for children with histories of maltreatment.

Journal Title

Children's and Youth Services Review




Foster care; Qualitative; Engagement; Pediatric medical home

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