Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, behavioral health services, including treatment for substance use disorders, are required to be covered at the same level as other medical and surgical services. Additionally, the Family First Prevention Services Act provides funding for behavioral health services to prevent children from entering foster care. This section includes resources related to various Federal and State legislation related to the provision of behavioral health services for children and youth in child welfare.
Addressing Children’s Mental Health
Takkunen & Zlevor (2018)
National Conference of State Legislatures
Summarizes Federal and State actions implemented to mitigate the consequences of untreated mental health conditions among children and youth.
Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) Substance Exposed Infants Statutory Summary (PDF - 526 KB)
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2017)
Summarizes grant conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Keeping Children Safe and Strengthening Families in Communities (PDF - 1,390 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Provides background information about the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), summarizes the law, and provides national and State-specific funding levels. The report also considers CAPTA in the context of other Federal child welfare financing.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (2018)
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.
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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 Services and Plans Address Vulnerable Children’s Health Care Needs?
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 child welfare-involved children and youth.
Implementing the Substance Use Disorder Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act: A Toolkit for Child Welfare and Treatment Stakeholders (PDF - 1,380 KB)
Children and Family Futures, Child Focus, & National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (2020)
Details five aspects of the Family First Prevention Services Act to help State leaders work collaboratively toward successful implementation of the law.
The Intersection of Medicaid and Child Welfare (PDF - 267 KB)
Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (2015)
Details the strengths of and concerns about the provision of behavioral health services to children and youth in child welfare through Medicaid benefits.
Laws and Regulations
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Outlines Federal laws and regulations that provide guidance related to the behavioral health services.
Mental Health Benefits: State Laws Mandating or Regulating
National Conference of State Legislatures (2015)
Summarizes the three types of laws enacted by States to regulate the coverage of mental health services by health insurance organizations.
On the Ground: How States Are Addressing Plans of Safe Care for Infants With Prenatal Substance Exposure and Their Families (PDF - 631 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.
What Are Infant Plans of Safe Care and Some Examples of State Responses to Infants Affected by Substance Use?
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.