Child and Family Services Reviews 2001-2004: A Mental Health Analysis

The Child and Family Services Reviews, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with state governments, is a results-oriented, comprehensive monitoring review system designed to assist States in improving outcomes for children and families who receive services from public child welfare systems. The reviews focus on safety, permanency and well-being. It acknowledges that enhancing a child’s healthy development and giving families the tools they need to care for their children will increase the likelihood of achieving these goals. Most children who enter the child welfare system have experienced significant trauma and have a high prevalence of mental health needs; however, only about one-fourth of those with diagnosed mental health needs receive specialty care.

This Mental Health Analysis, based on a review of 52 Final Reports and 52 Program Improvement Plans (PIPs), includes the following sections in sequence:

  • A discussion of mental health service delivery and management trends noted in the Final Reports (Section 1) and PIPs (Section 2) 
  • A summary of the mental health challenges and opportunities for reform across all states (Section 3) 
  • A discussion of issues for further study (Section 4)

The Mental Health Analysis discovered trends across States and is not intended to be a source of in-depth information about individual states. The findings demonstrate an urgent need for mental health reform and describe collaborative strategies for beginning this reform.