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Mental Health Service Utilization and Outcomes for Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System: An Empirically Based Curriculum

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This curriculum focuses on issues related to mental health service utilization and outcomes among children in the child welfare system. In spite of the documented need for mental health services for these children, there is a lack of information on children involved with both the child welfare and mental health systems. In order to improve our understanding of the issues and needs of this population, this curriculum focuses on five areas: (a) demographic and system-related characteristics of children involved in both the child welfare and mental health systems; (b) clinical need for services, service utilization patterns, and association between mental health service utilization and child welfare outcomes; (c) policies affecting mental health service utilization by children in the child welfare system; (d) collaboration between child welfare and mental health systems; and (e) resources for collaboration and service provision for children and youth in both the child welfare and mental health systems. The curriculum will provide research highlights, conceptual frameworks, tools, and experiential opportunities to strengthen understanding of a wide range of issues related to mental health service utilization among children in the public child welfare system. (165 pages)

Hines, A. M., Lee, P. A., Osterling, K. L., Tweed, M. (2007).