Children and youth involved with child welfare may be at greater risk for mental health issues than children in the general population because of histories of trauma, including experiencing maltreatment or separation from parents and/or siblings. These children may be at greater risk for substance use, low academic achievement, involvement with the juvenile justice system, homelessness, or other negative outcomes. When mental health issues are identified early and children and youth are referred to the appropriate services, outcomes and well-being may be improved. This section offers information about the intersection of trauma and mental health in child welfare, as well as resources to facilitate teaming in the provision of mental health and trauma-informed services.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Kaiser Permanente (1998)
Provides information, data, major findings, and publications about one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood trauma and later-life health and well-being.
Episode 13: Collaborating Between Child Welfare and Mental Health [Podcast]
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2017)
Presents a model program from the National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare designed to connect mental health and child welfare professionals in order to create an effective partnership aimed at increasing permanency and decrease mental health concerns among children and youth in care.
Mental Health and Foster Care
National Conference of State Legislatures (2020)
Outlines Federal, State, and local legislation related the provision of mental health resources for children and youth in foster care.
Reducing the Trauma of Investigation, Removal, and Initial Out-of-Home Placement in Child Abuse Cases (PDF - 374 KB)
Portland State University, Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, & Oregon Department of Human Services
Compiles a collection of documents that explores the impact of trauma on children involved in child abuse and neglect cases and strategies for reducing trauma by supporting children and adolescents during investigation, removal, and out-of-home placement.
Screening, Assessing, Monitoring Outcomes and Using Evidence-Based Interventions to Improve the Well-Being of Children in Child Welfare (PDF - 613 KB)
Conradi, Landsverk, & Wotring (2014)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau
Describes a process for delivering trauma screening, functional and clinical assessments, evidence-based interventions, and the use of progress monitoring in order to better achieve well-being outcomes.
U.S. Children's Bureau
Download (PDF - 1,596KB)
Versión para imprimir (PDF - 1,725KB)
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 323KB)