Foster children are wards of the state. They depend on government-funded health services. These children are at a higher risk of serious physical and mental injury or problems. More than 50% of the children in foster care suffer from chronic ailments like visual problems, hearing problems, asthma, dental decay, cognitive abnormalities, malnutrition, birth defects and also developmental, behavioral and emotional problems. Most of them require continuous medical treatment. Research has shown that many of them suffer from moderate to severe mental illnesses. Most medical issues in foster children arise from abuse, neglect and exposure to drugs and alcohol, poor parenting, lack of medical care and improper living conditions. The children suffer more trauma when they are separated from their families and put in foster care.
Children with disabilities are placed in foster care if their parents do not have the level or type of support to meet the needs of their specific needs. In most cases, the parents have to work and suitable child care is unavailable. Some parents are unable to cope with the needs of the disabled child and the other children in the family. Many disabled children are victims of abuse. Often the disability frustrates the parents. Disabled girls are more at risk of sexual abuse than normal girls. Children with mental disabilities generally do not have the ability to explain what happened to the police or the social worker. Foster parents with whom such children are placed are given proper training to care for such children.