Foster Care Of HIV-Positive Children In The U.S.
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Foster Care Of HIV-Positive Children In The U.S.

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    Public Health Rep
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    A national study regarding the foster care of children identified as human immunodeficiency virus-positive (HIV-positive) was conducted in 1991. A survey form was sent to the administrators of the State agency responsible for foster care in each State, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories for a total sample size of 55. After follow-up, all 55 responded for a response rate of 100 percent. The number of children in foster care was ascertained for the current year and cumulatively. In 1991, 1,149 HIV-positive children were reported to be in foster care. Most States (49) had a general foster care policy and 21 had specific policies regarding care of a foster child who is HIV-positive. Measures and criteria used for recruitment were examined. In regard to recruitment policies, only seven States mandated recruitment of families specifically for children with HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The major topics covered in training for HIV foster families included confidentiality, behavioral management, working with natural families, emotional factors, separation and loss, and others. Other issues discussed are foster parent training, supplemental services, later adoption possibilities, payments, and the expressed fears and doubts of foster parents caring for HIV-positive children. It is recommended that a national conference address the issues.
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