Teens in foster or kinship care have unique needs. They are learning life skills like how to make decisions on their own. Teens also have many concerns about their health, relationships with friends, and privacy. This means that they can decide how private they want their well-check and health care appointments to be.
General Visit Information
- Teens will fill out their own forms. These forms ask questions about things like their mood, risk of human trafficking, sexuality, gender identity, and substance use.
- To help teens take control of their health care, we meet with them privately to discuss their mood and any changes they have noticed, substance use, and sexual activity.
- We will ask foster and kinship care providers about how things are going with the teen and if they have any medical concerns. You may talk to the doctor or health care provider alone or with the teen in the room.
- For breast/chest and genitalia exams, a nurse or medical assistant will be in the room with the doctor or health care provider during the exam.
- We send the teen’s electronic medical records to child protective services (CPS) and/or foster agencies. That way, you don’t have to collect and submit forms.
- Teens ages 13 and up have full access to their medical records. They can get test results themselves if they have access through MyChart®. If they don’t have MyChart access yet and would like to have it, someone from our team can help with this.
Birth Control and Sexual Health
- Teens are allowed privacy when talking about things like sexuality, sexual activity, birth control (contraception), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy unless harm is being done to themselves or others.
- Ohio law and Nationwide Children’s Hospital policy states that teens 15 and older can get all forms of birth control, except an intrauterine device (IUD). They don’t need consent from child protective services or the consent of a biological or foster parent.
- Teens can consent to implantable contraception, like Nexplanon®. The BC4Teens clinic can insert Nexplanon on the day of the appointment, so you don’t have to come back. You can get more information or make an appointment at www.nationwidechildrens.org/BC4Teens. You can also call (614) 722-6200.
- STI testing will be offered to all teens at well-child visits. STI testing can include a blood or urine sample, a swab from the genitals, or a swab from inside of the throat. Ohio lets people under 18 (minors) get tested and treated without permission from the parents, guardians, or foster parents.
- Results will be sent to the teen. Teens can decide if they want to share their results. If there is a positive result, we encourage them to share that result with their sexual partners.
- Teens are interviewed privately to talk about mental and behavioral health issues like thoughts of hurting or killing themselves. If they tell us that they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, or that someone has been hurting them, this information will be shared with medical or mental health providers and the proper authorities.
- Psychology or our crisis team will help the teen and the foster family if suicide or other behavioral health problems are a concern.
- There are resources to help you with home safety for children at risk for self-harm. Ask your nurse or health care provider for more information on these resources.
The health care provider will talk to teens in foster or kinship care about moving to adult care during well checks. This process involves helping them understand their medical history and how to get care for their own health problems. These things will be discussed:
- Asking how easily they can see the health care provider on their own.
- Teaching them to ask questions if they do not understand information from the health care provider.
- Asking about their past and current medical history, including allergies and medicines, (doses and how and when to take them).
- Teaching them how to get a referral.
- Showing them how to use their electronic medical record (MyChart) to find information and to request appointments or refills.
- Reviewing their health insurance and how to keep it.
- Talking about where, when, and how to get emergency care.
- Choosing the adult health care provider they will go to when they leave our clinic.
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