Youth in foster care face medical and mental health challenges at significantly higher rates than other children, often as a consequence of the circumstances that led to their removal from their home and sometimes exacerbated by their experiences in foster care.

These health issues include developmental delays, mental retardation, emotional adjustment problems, chronic medical problems, birth defects, substance abuse, and pregnancy. In the foster care population, more than 60% of youth will have mental health problems during their lifetime; 30% to 40% of adolescents are coping with mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder; and  more than one-third of older adolescents have a chronic illness or disability.

Indiana Connected By 25's Healthy Connections Learning Laboratory provides healthcare education to transitioning youth, with an emphasis on healthy living and preventative medical care. Embedded into the educational materials are relevant resources for caregivers, youth and professionals around preparing foster youth for managing their own healthcare and understanding insurance options.

Trained staff and youth will create informed and youth friendly curriculum focused on themes that have been identified by youth. 

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