Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, insurance plans are required to cover behavioral health services, including treatment for substance use disorders, at the same level as other medical and surgical services. Additionally, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) provides funding for behavioral health services to prevent children from entering foster care. This section includes resources about various Federal and State legislation related to the provision of behavioral health services for children and youth in child welfare.
2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress (PDF - 1,436 KB)
U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, & U.S. Department of the Treasury (2022)
Highlights the Federal Government’s emphasis on greater enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and discusses national resources dedicated to supporting these efforts. The report also details efforts to implement amendments to MHPAEA made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Children in the Child Welfare System
Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
Reviews Medicaid and its significance for children in the child welfare system.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration
Explains how the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit of Medicaid requires collaboration between public health staff, families, managed care organizations, pediatricians, and other health providers. The EPSDT benefit is designed to improve the health of low-income children by financing appropriate and necessary pediatric services.
Find a Program or Service
Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse
Rates 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.
How Can Medicaid-Funded Services Support Children, Youth, and Families Involved With Child Protection?
Center for Health Care Strategies (2020)
Casey Family Programs
Explores States’ collaborative efforts across child protection, Medicaid, and behavioral health systems to ensure Medicaid financing can help meet the needs of children and their caregivers.
How Can Medicaid Services and Plans Address Vulnerable Children’s Health Care Needs? [Video]
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Presents a series of webinars detailing the role of Medicaid in funding and addressing the significant physical, behavioral, and social needs of children and youth involved with child welfare.
Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act: A Technical Guide for Agencies, Policymakers, and Other Stakeholders (PDF - 2,852 KB)
Children’s Defense Fund (2020)
Presents guidance for agencies, policymakers, and other partners on implementing FFPSA, including information on meeting the needs of families affected by substance use, attending to the needs of children in nonfamily settings, and more.
Implementing the Substance Use Disorder Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act: A Toolkit for Child Welfare and Treatment Stakeholders (PDF - 1,415 KB)
Children and Family Futures, Child Focus, & National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (2020)
Details five aspects of FFPSA to help State leaders work collaboratively toward successful implementation of the law.
On the Ground: How States Are Addressing Plans of Safe Care for Infants With Prenatal Substance Exposure and Their Families (PDF - 2,375 KB)
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2019)
Provides examples from States that have implemented comprehensive approaches to plans of safe care for infants with prenatal substance exposure and their families and caregivers.
Plans of Safe Care Learning Modules
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2020)
Guides State, Tribal, and local collaborative partners in improving their systems and services for infants born with and identified as being affected by substance use.
Understanding CAPTA and State Obligations (PDF - 187 KB)
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (2018)
Addresses misconceptions about what States are required to do to comply with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act regarding prenatal drug exposure.
What Are Infant Plans of Safe Care and Some Examples of State Responses to Infants Affected by Substance Abuse?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Summarizes legislation and policy dictating State responses to infants exposed to substances in utero as well as key implications for child welfare practice.