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July/August 2009Vol. 10, No. 6Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children in Foster Care

The spring issue of the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter (VCPN) focuses on the challenges of meeting the mental health needs of children in foster care and at risk of removal. The lead article explores the higher incidence of mental health problems in this population and cites specific needs, including the following:

  • Adequate training for child welfare workers
  • Coordination between child welfare and mental health systems
  • Early screening assessments
  • Coordination among providers and birth and foster parents
  • Placement stability
  • Sufficient number of providers
  • Access to financial resources

Another article addresses how foster care is used to access mental health services, citing the plight of some parents who relinquish custody of their children so that the children can obtain necessary mental health treatment. The article cites recent legislation and court cases that may affect these situations and reviews the status of these children in Virginia. This issue of the VCPN also includes a bibliography of resources for effective treatments.

The VCPN is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Social Services and is available on the James Madison University website: (1,750 KB)