The use of psychotropic medications is a significant factor in the overall effort to respond to detained youth with mental illness, yet there are very few studies of psychotropic medication use in juvenile detention settings. It is important to understand the factors that influence the use of mental health services and psychoactive medications in these settings since youth with emotional problems are overrepresented in them. This paper addresses the proportion of youth in these settings who receive mental health services and psychoactive medications. In addition, the impact of a major statewide policy change—the shift of juvenile placement responsibility from the state to local government—on these proportions was examined using eight years of publicly available data from California county probation departments.
This article reports parents’ perspectives on access to mental health services for their children enrolled in a state children’s health insurance program (CHIP). Little has been published about mental health services utilization in states’ CHIP programs. Focus groups with parents yielded many contextual factors, confirming previous reports about the importance of the primary care interface and cultural competence. In addition the findings pointed to the importance of taking seriously parents’ perception of severity of the child’s problem, reducing administrative barriers to accessing treatment, promoting education about mental health to the community, and eliciting regular input from parents about system performance.
In this paper, using data from the first nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of more than 7000 Vietnamese adolescents, we explore how peers, compared to family, matter to Vietnamese adolescents’ development of their independent identity as an adult. We use future hopes and aspirations as proxies for identity development, arguing that an individual’s development of future hopes and aspirations is a correlate to the emergence of an independent identity. Our analyses show that peers have a positive and consistent influence on adolescents’ hopes to have a happy family, good job, good income, and opportunities to do what they want. Regarding career and economic aspirations, the importance of peer relationships appears to have dropped away. It may be that when youth consider their realistic economic alternatives, the role of peers that was important for identity development in adolescence gives way to pragmatism about the attainment of a career identity.
Family reunification is one of the central tenets of the child welfare system, yet research supporting effective practices to promote safe reunifications is limited. As a departure from previous initiatives, the Parent Partner (PP) program enlists as staff mothers and fathers who have experienced child removal, services, and reunification. This study examines outcomes for children served by the PP program. The experimental group includes 236 children whose parents were served by a Parent Partner and a matched comparison group of 55 children whose parents were served by the public child welfare agency in 2004, before the Parent Partner program was established. Cases were examined 12 months following case opening to determine reunification status. Results from the outcome study indicate that reunification may be more likely for children whose parents were served by Parent Partners. Although there are limitations to the data, findings from this study suggest that the Parent Partner model may hold promise as a child welfare intervention designed to support reunification.
The need for mental health care has been steadily increasing for youth coming into contact with the juvenile probation system. This paper presents the results of a statewide survey of juvenile probation departments and associated mental health, health care, court, and education personnel in California. The intent of the survey was to better understand the costs and associated contexts of caring for youth with suspected mental disorders in juvenile detention facilities. The burden of caring for these youth on detention facilities and their staffs is substantial. Implications for courts, policy planning, training, and further research are discussed.
This paper explores the emergence of social work as a profession in Vietnam and the ways
in which international collaboration can play a role in its development. The paper reviews
the literature pertaining to the social issues that have accompanied recent rapid social and
economic change in Vietnam. The authors then describe recent developments in social
work and social work education in Vietnam in response to these emerging problems. The
role of international collaboration is explored and examples of four recent collaborations
are provided that illustrate exchanges of curriculum and related social work knowledge,
capacity building, technical assistance, and teaching. Factors that influence successful
international collaborations are delineated and conclusions about future opportunities for
such collaborations in Vietnam are presented.
This study addressed the utilization of mental health services by children enrolled in California’s Children’s Insurance Program (CHIP). The aim of the 2-year study, funded by the California Mental Health Services Act (with a grant to the study's sponsor, the state's Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board), was to determine the factors leading to suspected low utilization of mental health services, as well as identify corrective solutions. Researchers from San Jose State University partnered with APS, Healthcare, a private company specializing in quality analysis and quality improvement of behavioral health services.
We analyzed the effects of the Colorado Medicaid Capitation Program on the
duration and services of over 21,000 outpatient mental health episodes for young
children. The study spanned a three year period before and after capitation was
implemented, and compared episodes of outpatient care for children from 14
capitated Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) with those from three
CMHCs that remained fee-for-service. Proportional hazards regressions revealed
that capitation resulted in an increase in outpatient episode duration, over and
above similar effects for the comparison fee-for-service episodes. The hypothesis
that there were longer capitated episodes for children who were hospitalized
was not supported. Children with behavioral and anxiety disorders had longer
capitated episodes. Service intensity decreased over time in the managed care
sites. Changes in case mix may have had an impact on changes in episode duration
and service intensity. That outpatient episode duration increased over time while
costs were lowered in the capitated agencies indicates some effects of capitation
in changing patterns of care.