Health Care for Our Troubled Youth: Provision of Services in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems of California

Lack of access to high quality health care is a problem for most low-income people, but especially for young people in foster care and the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, adolescence is a particularly difficult developmental stage for youth, one requiring special emphasis on health care provision. The lack of adequate early intervention into the wide ranging health needs of many youths contributes to longer stays in foster care and deeper involvement in the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this report is to outline the health care needs and obstacles to health care access for foster care and juvenile justice youths, particularly adolescents, and to make recommendations for improvement.