Racial differences in health care utilization among children in foster care

Mary I. Benedict, Roger B. White, Rebecca Stallings, Donald A. Cornely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health services utilization patterns of foster children in Baltimore City, MD are described and health services utilization is compared between black and white foster children. Utilization data were obtained on a sample of 417 children receiving health service payments through the Maryland Medical Assistance program and data cover one year for all children. Black and white children were found to have similar family, and health status characteristics. The total sample had a mean number of 4.6 outpatient visits during the study year with 16.8% having no health care utilization. White children had significantly more mean visits overall (7.1) than did black children (3.9), significantly higher utilization when examined by provider type or reason for visit, and a significantly higher use of ancillary services. A larger proportion of black children had no utilization during the study period. Possible explanations and policy implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-297
Number of pages13
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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