When children and youth who have experienced child abuse and neglect enter the foster care system, child welfare and related professionals must provide early and appropriate intervention to support their emotional well-being, setting them up for future success. But mental health support can mean different things to different people, and the lens with which we view mental health services must include a consideration of the culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and disability of the recipient to ensure services are effective. Below are resources offering information about mental health conditions, psychiatric medication, and strategies that the child welfare field can use to holistically support the mental health needs of children and youth while they are in foster care.
Adolescent Mental Health
World Health Organization (2021)
Provides information and data surrounding different types and determinates of youth mental health as well as initiatives and interventions to help respond to the mental health needs of youth.
Children's Mental Health
Centers for Disease Control
Describes common disorders experienced by children and adolescents, information on learning healthy social skills, and way to cope.
How to Talk About Mental Health With Your Child and Their Pediatrician
Shahidullah & Baum (2022)
Presents ways to initiate a conversation with your child’s pediatrician about mental health concerns you have regarding your child.
Identity and Cultural Dimensions
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Focuses on the importance of mental health professionals including culture and identity in their treatment planning and the impact that tailoring mental health care to the individual can have on the effectiveness of treatment.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
ZERO TO THREE
Focuses on the connection, social responses, and capacity of infants and young children.
Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Children in Foster Care
American Academy of Pediatrics (2021)
Provides information on a number of topics that relate to the mental and behavioral health of children and teens in out-of-home care.
Mental Health and Foster Care
National Conference of State Legislatures (2019)
Outlines Federal, State, and local legislation related to the provision of mental health resources for children and youth in foster care.
Pier Training Institute
Discusses ways to prevent, address, and treat early psychosis in adolescents and young adults so they can live productive, healthy lives.
Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory (PDF - 1,038 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General (2021)
Includes recommendations of how child welfare professionals can better support and address the mental health needs for youth and children, which is a public health issue needing awareness and action.
Psychological Assessment of Children Fact Sheet
Provides factsheets about common childhood disorders, such as anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These factsheets can be used to help explain the causes, symptoms, and treatment of mental health disorders to parents, teenagers, and children.
Supporting Youth in Foster Care in Making Healthy Choices: A Guide for Caregivers and Caseworkers on Trauma, Treatment, and Psychotropic Medications
Tip-Sheet on Responding to Youth and Young Adult Mental Health Needs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2022)
Provides child welfare and related professionals with tips, resources, and tools to use when responding to the mental health and wellness needs of youth and young adults in foster care.
Tools for Supporting Emotional Wellbeing in Children and Youth
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2022)
Provides tools to help youth who belong to communities that have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 manage their mental health.
Why Does It Matter? Children’s Social Emotional Development and Mental Health [Video]
Children’s Bureau Learning and Coordination Center (2022)
Highlights the importance of integrating support for the social and emotional development of children and the well-being of their parents and caregivers all while focusing on building family strength and capacity.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Provides free support throughout the Nation to anyone in crisis or distress.