Study Location: Cook County, Illinois, USA
Type of Paper: Original Article; Medical Chart Review
Purpose: To describe the medical and psychosocial needs of children entering foster care.
- Physical growth: standard anthropometry [height, weight, head circumference (OFC)]. The method used to calculate percentile scores was not described.
Participants: 149 children entering foster care who were seen at an outpatient clinic in the U. S. (Cook County, IL) during one month. Average age was 5 years 3 months (range: 10 days to 17 years). 41% were less than 3 years old.
Methods: Medical chart reviews
- Physical growth: Growth abnormalities were one of the most frequent problems reported in these children. The following number of children were below the fifth percentile for growth:
- Height for age (HAZ): 24%
- Weight for age (WAZ): 16%
- Head circumference for age (OFCZ): 10% of the entire sample; 20% of those under 2 years of age.
Conclusions & Clinical Implications: Growth abnormalities were common in children entering foster care, with almost one quarter below the fifth percentile for height, 16% below the fifth percentile for weight, and 20% of those under the age of 2 below the fifth percentile for head circumference.
Limitations of the Nutritional Results: This study was completed nearly 30 years ago and may not reflect the current state of physical growth in children entering foster care today.
Reference: Hochstadt NJ, Jaudes PK, Zimo DA, Schachter J. The medical and psychosocial needs of children entering foster care. Child Abuse & Neglect. 1987; 11 (1): 53-62. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3828875