Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

March 2014Vol. 15, No. 3Parental Access to Mental and Behavioral Health Supports

A November 2013 policy brief on the website highlights the Affordable Care Act and States' opportunities to improve access to health care for parents and families involved with child welfare. As of January 1, 2014, States have the option to increase coverage to make health and mental health care accessible for working and nonworking adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. As parental mental health and substance use issues are often an underlying cause of child abuse and neglect, focusing on the importance of parental well-being by expanding access to needed treatment can prove beneficial to and improve outcomes for children, youth, and their families.

The brief also provides recommendations for policymakers, child welfare practitioners, and advocates related to promoting and implementing policies and programs that support the health, happiness, and success of parents and their families.

To read the full brief, visit, a website and project of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, an organization dedicated to helping policymakers make informed decisions that affect children and families. "Using the Affordable Care Act to Improve Well-Being Outcomes for Children and Families," is available here: (436 KB)