Social Medical History for Youth in Foster Care

A Social Medical History (SMH) is the term Minnesota uses for our comprehensive social and medical history for children and youth in out of home care.

Other states call this document different things, and include different details in the document.

Minnesota’s Social Medical History is in a standardized format, that has been used since 2015, and includes non-identifiable information, placement locations and dates, addresses of schools, diagnoses, doctors, therapists, information about the youth, their birth family, and reasons for placement. And is required for all Minnesota foster youth who are in care six+ months.

Power of Story is able to work with MN Counties and Organizations to complete Social Medical Histories, for youth experiencing out of home care. Our model goes beyond the basics listed below, and includes two Therapeutic Life Story Work approach interviews with each young person 6 years and older, a full file review, contact with birth, foster and adoptive families, document redaction as required by MN law and regular updates.

A social and medical history should be started as soon as a child enters foster care and must be continuously updated…

Instructions for Completing a Social and Medical History for a Child in Foster Care

Relevant Statues:

  • 259.43 BIRTH PARENT HISTORY; COMMISSIONER’S FORM.
  • 259.79 ADOPTION RECORDS.
  • 259.83 POSTADOPTION SERVICES.
  • 260c.212 Subd. 15.Social and medical history.
  • 260c.212 Subdivision 1. Out-of-home placement; plan
  • 260C.219 Subd. 5.Children reaching age of majority; copies of records.
  • 260C.452 SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD
  • 260C.609 SOCIAL AND MEDICAL HISTORY.
  • 260C.623 ADOPTION PETITION.
  • 260E.35 DATA PRACTICES.

This document is used for a variety of purposes and has many benefits.

  • Provide a young person with their life history + family, medical, and genetic information
  • Establish eligibility for adoption assistance.
  • Aid in the adoption matching process, a part of full disclosure.
  • Document family background information to guide practice and develop appropriate interventions.
  • Document a child’s physical, mental, social/ emotional, or behavioral disability, or how a child is at-risk of developing one or more disabilities, to establish eligibility for adoption assistance.

Since the document serves so many purposes, it is used by different folks.

  • Foster Youth – Provided when youth leave care after the age of 14, and can be requested at anytime before or after that.
  • Adoptees – Those adopted from MN foster care can requested it at age 19.
  • Birth Parents – Provided upon reunification
  • Prospective Adoptive Parents – Should be provided prior to adoptive placement, if placement does not move forward, must be returned
  • MN DHS – Turned in with signed Adoption Placement Agreement, and reviewed for accuracy and thoroughness
  • Court – Turned in with Adoption Petition.

Example MN Social and Medical History

Resources


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Minnesota requires this comprehensive document for children and youth in out of home care. Learn more, see an example, view relevant statues and laws.

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