Figure 1: Receipt of Mental Health Services by Foster Children with a Potential Mental Health Need, Ages 1-19
This image is excerpted from a U.S. GAO report:
CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH: Concerns Remain about Appropriate Services for Children in Medicaid and Foster Care
Notes: ACF analysis is based on NSCAW II phase 2 data (collected during October 2009 through January 2011). See L.F. Stambaugh et al., Psychotropic Medication Use by Children in Child Welfare, OPRE Report #2012-33, (Washington, D.C.: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).
Children with a potential mental health need were considered to be those who scored above a certain level on one of five standardized psychometric scales used in NSCAW II to measure a child’s emotional or behavioral problems.
For the survey, caregivers reported the child’s receipt of mental health services in the previous 12 months or since the start of the living arrangement, if less than 12 months. Mental health services, which ACF refers to as specialty mental health services in OPRE Report #2012-33, include treatments received at an outpatient drug or alcohol clinic, mental health center, community health center, therapeutic nursery, hospital psychiatric unit, detox unit, inpatient unit, hospital emergency room, residential treatment center, group home, or school-based setting. Mental health services can also be received from a private mental health professional or family doctor, or during in-home counseling or crisis services.