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Mental health services for children and youth in the child welfare system: A focus on caregivers as gatekeepers

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  • Villagrana, Margarita

Abstract

Caregivers serve as gatekeepers for children while in the child welfare system, but few studies have focused on the caregiver and the factors that influence the use of mental health services for the children under their care. The purpose of this study was to examine the child's mental health need, the caregiver's level of stress, depression, and social support, and the utilization of mental health services by children using the three most common types of caregivers in the child welfare system (i.e., birth parent, relative caregiver, and foster parent). Data comes from the Patterns of Care (POC) study of five public sectors of care. The present study examined parents/caregivers and youth from the child welfare sector. Findings suggest that while birth parents were more likely to endorse more risk factors for themselves, and the children under their care had a higher level of mental health need, they were the least likely to utilize mental health services for the children under their care. Implications for the child welfare and mental health systems are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Villagrana, Margarita, 2010. "Mental health services for children and youth in the child welfare system: A focus on caregivers as gatekeepers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 691-697, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:5:p:691-697
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:1:75-80_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Garland, Ann F. & Besinger, Bridgett A., 1997. "Racial/Ethnic Differences in Court Referred Pathways to Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 651-666, December.
    3. Shore, Nancy & Sim, Kelly E. & Le Prohn, Nicole S. & Keller, Thomas E., 2002. "Foster parent and teacher assessments of youth in kinship and non-kinship foster care placements: are behaviors perceived differently across settings?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 109-134.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Jason D. & Ivanova, Viktoria & Mehta, Nisha & Skrodzki, Donna & Gerrits, Julie, 2013. "Social needs of aboriginal foster parents," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1886-1893.
    2. Garcia, Antonio R. & Kim, Minseop & DeNard, Christina, 2016. "Context matters: The state of racial disparities in mental health services among youth reported to child welfare in 1999 and 2009," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 101-108.
    3. Schneiderman, Janet U. & Smith, Caitlin & Palinkas, Lawrence A., 2012. "The caregiver as gatekeeper for accessing health care for children in foster care: A qualitative study of kinship and unrelated caregivers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2123-2130.
    4. Swanke, Jayme R. & Yampolskaya, Svetlana & Strozier, Anne & Armstrong, Mary I., 2016. "Mental health service utilization and time to care: A comparison of children in traditional foster care and children in kinship care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 154-158.
    5. Coleman, Kanisha L. & Wu, Qi, 2016. "Kinship care and service utilization: A review of predisposing, enabling, and need factors," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 201-210.

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