When children or parents with mental health service needs are involved with the child welfare system, a coordination of efforts is more likely to result in positive outcomes than if each system focuses independently on its own issue-related services. Resources in this section provide information about collaboration between public child welfare and mental health agencies to improve services for children, youth, and families, including State and local examples.
Collaboration Between Mental Health and Child Protection Services: Professionals' Perceptions of Best Practice
Darlington & Feeney
Children and Youth Services Review, 30(2), 2008
Provides a qualitative analysis of mental health and child protection professionals' perceptions of best practice in cases of parental mental illness and protection concerns for children. The paper offers strategies, including collaboration, that require implementation at a range of levels from the front-line workplace to Statewide policy changes.
Early Childhood/Child Welfare Service Partnerships: The Challenges and the Potential: Research Brief (PDF - 579 KB)
James Bell Associates (2011)
Describes the need for a collaborative effort among education, mental and medical health, and social services for young children in the child welfare service system.
Making It Happen: Overcoming Barriers to Providing Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health (PDF - 543 KB)
ZERO TO THREE (2012)
Discusses issues and barriers States face when financing infant-early childhood mental health services for families and children in need and proposes recommendations for policy improvements.
Paving the Way: Meeting Transition Needs of Young People With Developmental Disabilities and Serious Mental Health Conditions (PDF - 5,990 KB)
Davis, Jivanjee, & Koroloff (2010)
Presents eight innovative programs that provide an array of services to help young people with both developmental disabilities and serious mental health conditions transition to adulthood. Descriptions of best practices are also included.
DBHS Practice Protocol: The Unique Behavioral Health Service Needs of Children, Youth and Families Involved With CPS (PDF - 107 KB)
Arizona Department of Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services (2008)
Outlines clinical considerations for ensuring effective responses to the trauma, loss, and anxiety experienced by children involved with the child welfare system, including cross-training of child and family teams.
Final Report: Independent Assessment of New Jersey's Children Behavioral Health Care System (PDF - 1,500 KB)
Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (2006)
Discusses findings from an independent assessment in four areas: State-level governance structure, system of care development, interagency collaboration at State and local levels, and local level governance structure. Includes recommendations.
The Georgia Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Project: Final Report and Recommendations (PDF - 1,900 KB)
Barton Child Law and Policy Center of Emory University School of Law, Casey Family Programs, & Child Welfare Collaborative (2012)
Offers lessons learned for improving practices around the use of psychotropic medication for children in foster care, including protocols for coordination among child welfare, mental health, and Medicaid agencies.
2008 Fact Sheet: Improving Health Care of Children in Foster Care: An Ongoing Collaboration (PDF - 32 KB)
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (2008)
Discusses the health and mental health challenges faced by foster youth and the collaboration between the Washington State Health and Recovery Services Administration and the Children's Administration to promote the healthy development of children in foster care. Describes the creation of three regional centers for foster care health in Spokane, Longview, and Seattle and the services that they will provide.