Pathways to Mental Health Services for Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System: A Focus on Social Workers’ Referral
- 365 Downloads
Case abstraction was used to collect data from court reports to examine characteristics that predict referral to mental health services by court and child welfare social workers and whether referral to mental health services was a significant determinant of service utilization. Home placement and multiple types of abuse were significant predictors of a referral to mental health services by the court social worker and age and reported sexual abuse were significant in the utilization of services. Practice and policy implications are discussed.
KeywordsChild welfare Social workers Foster care Mental health
The research was supported by the Council on Social Work Education Minority Research Fellowship Program. The preparation of this article was supported by the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center supported by award P20MD002316 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities/National Institutes of Health. The content is the sole responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The author would like to thank Dr. Alice M. Hines for feedback on an earlier draft and for consultation during data collection and Dr. Maanse Hoe for data analysis consultation.
- Burns, B. J., Phillips, S., Wagner, R., Barth, R., Kolkom, D., Campbell, Y., et al. (2004). Mental health needs and access to mental health services by youth involved with child welfare: A national survey. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 960–978.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Garland, A., Hough, R., Landsverk, J., McCabe, K., Yeh, M., & Ganger, W. (2000). Racial and ethnic variations in mental health care utilization among children in foster care. Children’s Services: Social Policy, Research, and Practice, 3, 133–146.Google Scholar
- Halfon, N., Mendoca, A., & Berkowitz, G. (1995). Health status of children in foster care: The experience of the center for the vulnerable child. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 149, 386–392.Google Scholar
- Harman, J., Childs, G., & Kelleher, K. (2000). Mental health care utilization and expenditures by children in foster care. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 154, 1114–1117.Google Scholar
- Hunter Romanelli, L., Landsverk, J., Mass Levitt, J. M., Leslie, L. K., Hurley, M. M., Bellonci, C., et al. (2009). Best practices for mental health in child welfare: Screening, assessment, and treatment guidelines. Child Welfare, 88, 163–188.Google Scholar
- Landsverk, J., & Garland, A. (1999). Foster care and pathways to mental health services. In P. A. Curtis, G. Dale Jr., & J. C. Kendall (Eds.), The foster care crisis: Translating research into policy and practice Child Youth, and Family Services. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
- Mass Levitt, J. (2009). Identification of mental health service need among youth in child welfare. Child Welfare, 88, 27–48.Google Scholar