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Dental Care for Foster Children in San Diego County.

  • Author(s): Bialostozky, Mario
  • et al.

Conclusion: Even for non-foster parents, accessing the healthcare system in this country can, at times, seem like a daunting task. In that sense, foster parents are no different. However, foster children are more vulnerable given their situation and the barriers they encounter. There should be a system implemented that ensures that these children are able to get the care they need. As the data shows, compliance with—and therefore access to—medical appointments is fairly good in San Diego County. Dental care, however, is a different story. The poor access to care is likely a combination of high costs of services and procedures, especially when they are not covered by insurance, of poor reimbursement for providers which leads to providers not accepting Medi-Cal, of lack of information about how often children should visit their dentist, as well as at what ages attendance is appropriate, and poor dissemination of information to foster parents about availability of clinics that take Medi-Cal and see children. There are likely many other barriers that are yet to be investigated. Even if we have not yet identified all the barriers, we can begin to have an impact by making some changes in our system. Foster children should have the same access to medical care as other children and we should try to overcome the barriers foster parents face in accessing the healthcare system.

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