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NCJ Number: 230056 Find in a Library
Title: Clients' and Professionals' Experiences of Traversing Mental Health and Child Protection Systems: Implications for Practice
Journal: Families in Society  Volume:90  Issue:4  Dated:October - December 2009  Pages:382-389
Author(s): Yvonne Darlington; Judith A. Feeney
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 8
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines results of surveys that investigated the attitudes of child protection and mental health professionals towards parents with mental illness.
Abstract: The results of surveys of child protection and mental health professionals’ attitudes indicate that support services in both areas need to be tailored directly to the needs of parents with mental illness. A literature review reveals that in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, children of parents with a mental illness are strongly represented in statutory child protection. It was also found however, that programs and resources for these families came from initiatives within mental health service agencies rather than from child protection services. In this article, results are presented from interviews conducted with 19 child protection professionals, 17 mental health professionals, and 4 parents who were clients of both services. Interviewees completed a survey that included 25 statements assessing attitudes towards parents with mental illness. Two factors emerged from the interviews: the inadequate services factor and the inadequate parenting factor. These factors indicate that most child protection and mental health professionals do not necessarily consider parents with mental illness to be poor parents, but they do believe that existing services for these parents are inadequate. This lack of services may further increase parental stress, indicating a need for more coordination and collaboration for agencies providing assistance to these families. Table and references
Main Term(s): Mental health services
Index Term(s): Family counseling; Family structure; Family support; Home environment; Parent-Child Relations; Psychological evaluation; Treatment/Therapeutic Community
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