ERIC Number: ED475498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice: Federal Agencies Could Play a Stronger Role in Helping States Reduce the Number of Children Placed Solely To Obtain Mental Health Services.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Child welfare directors in 19 states and juvenile justice officials in 30 counties estimated that in fiscal year 2001 parents placed over 12,700 children into the child welfare or juvenile justice systems so that these children could receive mental health services. Neither the child welfare nor the juvenile justice system was designed to serve children who have not been abused or neglected, or who have not committed a delinquent act. The General Accounting Office was asked to determine: (1) the number and characteristics of children voluntarily placed in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems to receive mental health services, (2) the factors that influence such placements, and (3) promising state and local practices that may reduce the need for child welfare and juvenile justice placements. This report presents the findings of that research. According to officials in the states visited, limitations of both public and private health insurance, inadequate supplies of mental health services, limited availability of services through mental health agencies and schools, and difficulties meeting eligibility rules for services influence such placements. Misunderstandings among state and local officials regarding the roles of the various agencies that provide such services pose additional challenges to parents seeking such services for their children. Officials identified practices that they believe may reduce the need for some child welfare or juvenile justice placements. These included finding new ways to reduce the cost of or to fund mental health services, improving access to mental health services, and expanding the array of available services. Six appendixes contain the research scope and methodology, state statutes, comments from the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. (GCP)
Descriptors: Agency Role, Child Welfare, Delivery Systems, Eligibility, Health Insurance, Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, Mental Health Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548 (first copy free; additional copies $2 each; 100 or more: 25% discount). Tel.: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061. Web site: http://www.gao.gov. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d03397high.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Community; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.