Mental health services for children placed in foster care: an overview of current challenges

Peter J. Pecora, Peter S. Jensen, Lisa Hunter Romanelli, Lovie J. Jackson, Abel Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given the evidence from studies indicating that children in care have significant developmental, behavioral, and emotional problems, services for these children are an essential societal investment. Youth in foster care and adults who formerly were placed in care (foster care alumni) have disproportionately high rates of emotional and behavioral disorders. Among the areas of concern has been the lack of comprehensive mental health screening of all children entering out-of-home care, the need for more thorough identification of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders, and insufficient youth access to high-quality mental health services. In 2001, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) formed a foster care mental health values subcommittee to establish guidelines on improving policy and practices in the various systems that serve foster care children (AACAP and CWLA, 2002). Because of the excellent quality and comprehensiveness of these statements, the Casey Clinical Foster Care Research and Development Project undertook consensus development work to enhance and build upon these statements. This article presents an overview of mental health functioning of youth and alumni of foster care, and outlines a project that developed consensus guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalChild Welfare
Volume88
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 26 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Pecora, P. J., Jensen, P. S., Romanelli, L. H., Jackson, L. J., & Ortiz, A. (2009). Mental health services for children placed in foster care: an overview of current challenges. Child Welfare, 88(1), 5-26.