Anna, age 2, and her younger sister, age 6 months, were both neglected by their biological mother. As a result they were placed into foster care. At the time of placement, it was noticed that Anna would tend to watch television by standing right in front of the television. In addition, it was noticed by her caretakers that Anna tended to strive for all of the attention that they could give her. When the foster parents would talk with her, it appeared, at times that Anna either did not hear them or could not make out all of the things being told to her. Although sweet and loving, the foster parents were concerned about the overall health of Anna.
As part of their job in caring for Anna, the foster parents began scheduling various medical and dental appointments Anna. Whenever they would meet with a doctor, the foster parents would express honestly and openly the concerns that they had about Anna and the observations that they saw in caring for Anna. As a result of their observations, the bloodwork and other tests that were completed on behalf of Ana reviewed that she had a couple of medical concerns that needed to be addressed. First, she was able to get her vision evaluated as it was determined that her eyesight needed correction. Secondly, it was revealed that Anna was diagnosed with a condition called Marfan Syndrome.
Left untreated and without early diagnosis, Anna would likely have died or faced a number of other problems as a result of this issue which would deeply affect the quality of her life. Due to the concerns, observations and willingness to speak out, Anna’s foster parents made sure that Anna received the necessary medical help that is afforded to children in out of home care like Anna. Currently, Anna wears glasses that have helped to correct her vision, she receives assistance by having assigned a behavioral coach which helps to monitor her development and growth and she continues to receive the appropriate treatment and ongoing medical care to address the problems associated with Marfan Syndrome. Without loving and caring foster parents who recognized that something just did not “seem right” with Anna, her life would be significantly different than it is now. This is why, it is important for foster parents to be proactive in addressing and meeting the needs of youth placed into their care to ensure that youth are healthy and continue to be healthy while in the care of loving foster parents.