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NCJ Number: 208137 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Needs of Youth in Foster Care: Challenges and Strategies
Journal: The Connection  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2004  Pages:6-13
Author(s): Lisette Austin
Editor(s): Carla Spaccarotelli
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2002-CH-BX-KOO1
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses various challenges and strategies within both the mental health system and the foster care system in addressing the mental health care needs of foster care children.
Abstract: Research indicates that in the United States anywhere from 40 to 85 percent of children in foster care are suffering with some type of mental disorder. The prevalence of mental health problems for children in foster care is staggering. These high numbers are typically due to a traumatic event that brought them into foster care, such as parental abuse or neglect, homelessness, or exposure to domestic violence or substance abuse. With the large number of children in foster care and in need of mental health care, less than one-third receive the mental health services they need. One of the reasons presented for the lack of services is the lack of well-trained, experienced mental health professionals available. In addition, there is a lack of mental health training for both child welfare staff and foster families. Without training, those involved with foster children have difficulty recognizing the disorders. There is also a lack of collaboration between providers and parents, lack of continuity of care, budget cuts, and lack of routine mental health assessments. However, with all these challenges, there are organizations attempting to implement strategies and solutions to this problem. Some of these new approaches and solutions discussed include: (1) therapeutic foster care or treatment foster care, (2) the 1992, Comprehensive Mental Health Services Program for Children and Their Families, and (3) evidence-based interventions. The role of CASA volunteers in strengthening their role as mental health advocates for foster children is also discussed. Even with these various strategies, navigating the mental health needs of foster care children will not be a simple road, but one that must be driven.
Main Term(s): Foster adolescents
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Children at risk; Foster homes; Juvenile foster homes; Juvenile mental health services; Mental disorders; Mental health; Mental health services; Special needs children
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