University of Rochester and Starlight Pediatrics
Special Projects Fund
November 2009 – April 2013
Mental health problems are a significant health concern for children in foster care.
On any given day, approximately 510,000 children are in foster care, with total foster care placement estimated at 795,000 annually in the United States. Seventy percent of children have been admitted to foster care because of child abuse and neglect, which are strong predictors of poor long-term outcomes. These children suffer from high rates of chronic medical, developmental, and mental health problems. Starlight Pediatrics is a model pediatric medical home in Rochester, serving all 700 children in family-based foster care in Monroe County through 3,400 visits per year. Operating for nearly two decades, Starlight Pediatrics is the oldest existing centralized medical home model for children in foster care in the country. In addition to providing comprehensive primary care services, Starlight Pediatrics provides all health care management services for children in foster family care. To address both the primary care and mental health needs of children in foster care, Starlight Pediatrics implemented the Fostering Connections program, which integrated on-site mental health services and parent training in the same location where medical care is provided. In 2009, NYHealth awarded University of Rochester and Starlight Pediatrics a grant to support Fostering Connections.