Healthcare for Transitioning Foster Youth
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
In collaboration with: Sarah Beal, PhD and Mary V. Greiner, MD, MS
In partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the LWC research team explored solutions for helping youth in Hamilton County transitioning from Child Services to the adult healthcare system. There is a great opportunity for these young adults to learn about preventative healthcare, so they can make better decisions about their health and lower medical costs.
Most post–transitioned youth, now considered adults by Child Services, are unaware and uninformed about their healthcare. When medical situations arise, whether minor or urgent, most youth lack the knowledge to make an educated decision about their health. This results in countless emergency room visits, wasting time and money. Additionally, many of the existing resources are unapproachable, leading to a lack of communication with healthcare professionals. All of these factors pose many challenges for these young adults.
Through conversations with pre and post–transitioned youth, we observed firsthand how they respond to guidance from healthcare professionals and considered how trust and priorities affect their decision–making process. As we started to identify parallels in their experiences, we began to understand what the average journey looks like for foster youth. We identified key points in the journey where design could play an important role. Through feedback and evaluation from the community, we were able to suggest suitable tools that would prove successful in this transition.
Through a co-creation approach with healthcare providers, we created
an 80 page healthcare guide aimed at helping youth make better decisions regarding their health. These booklets are intended to help spark the conversation between teens and their healthcare providers and to serve as a quick and accessible reference for healthcare information while at home. They will be used and tested over a long–term study to evaluate their effectiveness at improving this transition process.