Objective: The objective of this retrospective study was to describe the health status of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in foster care.
Research design and methods: A retrospective chart review of children with T1DM in foster care at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) in Bronx, NY, USA, was performed.
Results: All patients were either African American or Hispanic and raised by single mothers. The majority of referrals were for medical neglect. The time spent in foster care ranged from 1 to 7 years, with 1–12 placements. Only two children were reunified with their biological mothers. Extensive financial burdens on the health-care system for children with diabetes including prolonged hospitalizations awaiting placement, frequent hospital admissions, and support services were noted.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report on children with T1DM in foster care. Poor glycemic control and suboptimal social outcomes were noted in the children we report in our case series. Programs geared to improve and reform foster care for children with diabetes are needed.