Utilizing a holistic approach is paramount in supporting the mental health needs of children, youth, and families who are in or at risk of entering foster care. By partnering across systems, child welfare professionals can ensure a collaborative response that is more likely to result in children and their caregivers having access to high quality and culturally appropriate services to support their social-emotional development and mental well-being. Resources on this page focus on prioritizing a collaborative approach to mental health services and building supports to help strengthen families to ultimately improve outcomes of permanency.
A National Agenda for Children’s Mental Health
Identifies ways to build a system to effectively improve the mental health and well-being of children and youth. Find principles to guide the focus, and strategies to implement an equitable mental health system for children and youth with a focus on the challenges of supporting children during the pandemic.
Building Collaborative Capacity
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
Highlights resources that emphasize the importance of building collaborative relationships and teaches effective relationship development to ultimately improve outcomes for children and families.
The Evolution of the System of Care Approach for Children, Youth, and Young Adults With Mental Health Conditions and Their Families
Children’s Mental Health Network (2021)
Describes the system of care approach efforts, which have resulted in significant improvements in addressing youth mental health issues, and shares how this approach has changed and where more improvements can be made.
Finding a Program or Service
Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse
Rates several services and treatments designed to address mental health and substance use disorders in terms of their efficacy and evidence base according to title IV-E requirements.
Fostering Anti-Raciscm and Equity in Mental Health Services and Systems [Webinar]
National Training and Technical Assistance Center (2022)
Provides actions organizations can take to improve inequities amongst organizations and services they provide to foster a culture of true diversity.
Gender-Affirming Care Is Trauma-Informed Care (PDF - 129 KB)
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2022)
Discusses developmentally appropriate, evidence-based trauma-informed care support for transgender, gender diverse, and intersex (TGI) youth.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: A Primer for Child Welfare Professionals
The Power of Collaboration in Preventing Child Neglect, Partnering With Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Domestic Violence System
Focuses on collaborative strategies with substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence partners and providers in an effort to prevent child abuse and neglect among families.
Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory (PDF - 1,010 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General (2021)
Shares recommendations on how child welfare professionals increase awareness of mental health as a public health issue and how they can take action to better support and address the mental health needs for youth and children.
Providing Unbiased Services for LGBTQ Youth Project
Focuses on encouraging organizations to adjust trainings, policy, and strategies to collaborate and effectively provide unbiased services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth in out-of-home care.